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.
(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