The woman and two others interviewed by The Washington Post learned from friends that they were the subject of derogatory chats on a widely read message board on AutoAdmit, run by a third-year law student at the University of Pennsylvania and a 23-year-old insurance agent....Too beautiful to appear in public? Too hot to be hired? Come on! What rational employer would deny you a job because idiots chatted about you on line in a way that made if obvious that the only thing you did was look good?
Another Yale law student learned a month ago that her photographs were posted in an AutoAdmit chat that included her name and graphic discussion about her breasts. She was also featured in a separate contest site -- with links posted on AutoAdmit chats -- to select the "hottest" female law student at "Top 14" law schools, which nearly crashed because of heavy traffic. Eventually her photos and comments about her and other contestants were posted on more than a dozen chat threads, many of which were accessible through Google searches.
"I felt completely objectified," that woman said. It was, she said, "as if they're stealing part of my character from me." The woman, a Fulbright scholar who graduated summa cum laude, said she now fears going to the gym because people on the site encouraged classmates to take cellphone pictures of her.
(I am sympathetic to the woman who had someone impersonate her by name in a chat. There is a popular blog where that is done to me in the comments and openly encouraged. As I noted here, the blogger in question flatly refused to do anything about it.)
ADDED: Lindsay Beyerstein is more upset than I am about the fact that there is a lot of loose talk about people on the internet -- though presumably not about the dumb, loose talk about me on her own site. She fails to reveal what repressive remedies she has in mind to keep the internet from chattering. But I hope she'll at least do that "more speech" thing and condemn that blog where they impersonate me all the time -- or does she think I deserve it? Anyway, go over there and read about her outrage and about what an unsympathetic clod I am, and check out how she re-defames me over the old Clinton blogger lunch incident. See if you can figure out how she proposes to embrace the web with nurturing kindness and save women from all that talk out there. Hint: You can't. Either the remedies she has in mind are too repressive to scare you with, or she's content with just expressing outrage and sympathy. I'm coming down on the side of free speech on this, and that's one more thing she's outraged about.
MORE: I finally found the email from those bloggers that refused to deal with the problem of people impersonating me on their website, but it's too long and boring to put here on the front page, so you'll have to go into the comments and find this junk. Scroll down to my comment at 4:33 PM.
YET MORE: This post has become a major target for anti-Althouse swarming. It's not feminist -- don't you know? -- to withhold nurturing for sensitive Yale law students who fail to land the jobs they are demonstrably entitled to.
AND: The discussion continues in my new post here.