Archive for October, 2010

The Talk – Cyber Bullying

Liskula Cohen’s NY Law Suit: Our First NY Champion for Reforming Internet Defamation Laws

You are reading this, so I assume that you want to know why I sued Google, how I feel about the freedom of speech, and maybe what you can do to protect yourself against online defamation. Here is my story in my words as best as I can describe it. This blog will also be an online diary to the modeling world as I experience it.

You may have read about me on the Internet. If so, you are probably wondering why all of these horrific things are being said. I am not here blogging to defend myself against what has been written, as I will never defend myself against ignorance. But, I will tell you why these things are being said, and tell you a little about who I really am.

I am a granddaughter, a daughter, a sister, a step child, a friend, an ex wife, an animal lover, a neighbor, a feminist, I work legally in the United States and am a tax payer, a Canadian and a model. A non-partisan, an advocate of racial tolerance, and honest. I am not educated enough in politics to decide where I stand, and sometimes I don’t think I want to be. I do know the difference between right and wrong. I try to make the people around me as happy as I can. I do my part in helping whenever I can; I always try to remain positive, although it is not always easy. I believe happiness is a choice, and not always the easiest choice to make, but worth it every time.

I have never done a blog before, but now I am curious. I would like to get other peoples feed back, but if you are here reading this to call me names, and fight with me, please don’t waste your time. I have no interest in sparring with narrow-minded people. If you have a different perspective than I, please feel free to share.

If you are reading this, the chances are you know that I sued Google and won. The question is: “What does that really mean for you and me”? For one thing, it means that if you are harassed or defamed online, you will no longer have to hide or be embarrassed. Now you can do something about it; you can speak up. People like us – the ones who are losing sleep, jobs, and relationships over it – can have a voice. The people blogging should remember that they could still use their voices for something positive if they so choose, and can even spew hate and defamatory filth about others if they want. The only difference is that, because I fought and won, you won’t be able to remain anonymous any longer.

I was a complete mess this whole year because of this blog, and because of this lawsuit. I prayed for it to be over, I begged journalists to not write about it. I hid in my home, and contemplated ending my life. But, where would that have gotten me, us, the victims? Nowhere. People may have felt bad about a woman that was dead because of what another person had said. And that would have been it! My life would have been over, my family would have been destroyed, and all because some person decided to target me, over nothing. I have spoken to the blogger, we had lunch, we discussed everything she thought I said about her, which fueled her fire to write the blog and we quickly realized that all of the hear say was a lie. We will never know the motivation, but someone lied and I was the one who was damaged by it.

Lets remember what Buddha once said: “do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”

Carla Franklin’s NY Law Suit: Championing Reform for Cyber-Harassment Legislation with FSV3.ORG Founder

Carla’s Official Statement

I, Carla Franklin, have been the subject of recent media regarding my petition for information of Google, Inc, regarding an ongoing matter of harassment. This unfortunate and unwanted media buzz occurred when the August 17, 2010 petition, known as an Order to Show Cause (not a lawsuit for money) was leaked to or shown to the press without my knowledge or consent.

Several news articles have been written about my case; most were inaccurate, relied upon limited information in the court filing and took details out of context.

The truth about me is that I am management consultant, who has been gainfully employed as a full-time consultant since receiving my undergraduate degree.

I have been dealing with ongoing obsessive and harassing behavior since 2006. Despite ignoring phone calls, e-mails, changing my number, trying to be nice, and hoping that the obsessive behavior would stop, the behavior continued over a four-year period. Last year, things escalated online. An anonymous YouTube account was created to make a YouTube channel or “shrine” dedicated to me, using video clips of me talking to a friend. The personal information that was included and the obsessive, “shrine-like” nature of this You-Tube channel scared me. Several weeks after the YouTube “shrine” was removed, another anonymous YouTube account was created and used to comment on video clips of me created by Columbia Business School. The comment left on the clips was “whore.”

I am asking Google, Inc. for information about the person who is harassing me online because I believe it is equally as dangerous as the harassment that has occurred in person, and if I pursue legal remedies I don’t want anonymous online activities to be excluded from this person’s damaging pattern of behavior.

In Summary:

(1) I am not seeking money from Google/YouTube. I am following the normal, required process to seek information. Because internet harassment laws are currently non-existent, I had to pursue a civil route to gather information on my harasser. If these activities had happened through the mail, over the phone, or in person, I could have gone directly to law enforcement to remedy the issue. Tougher internet legislation (like the Stalker Act of 2010) needs to be passed.

(2) Google/YouTube and other internet product providers have invested limited time and resources into measures that allow individuals to protect themselves from harassment and stalking.

My case is about a pattern of online and offline abuse and the right of an individual like myself to link these two elements in a legal case. There are laws to protect us from harassment in person. The internet should not become an anonymous place for harassers to hide. Criminal behavior is not protected by the first amendment. For more detail on the mater, please see the linked image above.

Current criminal laws protecting citizens against cyber-harassment are scant or non-existent. Those who find themselves at the mercy of “anonymous” trolls and online bullies generally have to use civil measures of “Defamation” or “Copyright Infringement” to get information from Google, Yahoo, and other online content providers in order to pursue criminal remediation against harassers. Legislation must be passed to protect others from the same behavior that I, Erin Andrews, and most recently Tyler Clementi had to endure. More unnecessary tragedy and suffering will occur until the laws catch-up with the crimes of the internet.

Watch the followup interview : Carla Franklin on CBS Morning Show October 20, 2010

Google CEO Eric Schmidt Convicted of Defamation in France for “Google Suggest” Function

Google’s ill-famed “Search Suggest” algorithm is kind of fun and mildly amusing whenever it reads our minds successfully; but it’s a torment when your company trademark is accompanied by “defraud”. One French man has won an Internet libel action against Google and its chief executive officer Eric Schmidt in his editorial capacity at Google head quarters in California. The court concluded that Mr. Schmidt was ultimately responsible for prompting words akin to “satanist” and “rapist” after the petitioner’s name. Evidently in this situation the plaintiff has previously been convicted for “corruption of a minor”; thus Google might have a good argument in the potential appeal.

Defamation is a felony in most EU nations, as it is in seventeen US states. I am not sure if this case is civil or criminal. The €1 judgment suggests that the Court perceived that the complainant is a low life, effectively valuing his character at zero. I support the precedent, but can’t bring myself to rejoice considering this man’s prior convictions.