March 8, 2007

"Scummy law school sleazebags" in "a massive toilet of racism and sexism."

Gasp or yawn. Your choice. You know, I've heard there's pornography on the web!

AND: You can't say I don't have the personal experience to know how the Yale law students and Feministe Jill feel. Check it out: They're talking about me too.

AND: I like this one: "someone email her this thread. I'm too much of a pussy to do it myself." See? They're a bunch of pussies!

94 comments:

Kevin Lomax said...

http://www.autoadmit.com/thread.php?thread_id=591793&mc=16&forum_id=2

You're famous!

AllenS said...

I just returned from your link, xoxohth, and copied this:

Author: hitlerhitlerhitler

for her age she's attractive. and for a law prof she's better than 75th %tile.


i'd rate her a 6.50-6.75. need a better picture to really judge though

You sure can attract an odd assortment of lunatics.

The Drill SGT said...

LOL Ann,

Those guys are certainly equal opportunity gawkers.

I'll say the same thing I said yesterday. While I feel sorry for you and the 1L, the lesson is that one needs to be careful about what personal info one puts up into the public domain. It is not fair, but it persists and can be misused.

Bob said...

You came out well, more compliments than insults. I'll bet you're secretly flattered.

*grins*

Kevin Lomax said...

People shouldn't be surprised.

When one openly deposits one's life in the public sphere via blogging, social networking sites, and photo sharing sites, one should should not be astonished to find that one's life has gotten away from oneself.

No different than going to a nude beach and acting surprised that others see you naked

Tim said...

"And middle-aged Big Law attorneys may not be the most savvy people in the world when it comes to internet communities."

Yes, that's probably correct; but then why isn't she astute enough to organize her life to minimize the prospective liabilities of internet communities? She is, of course, free to live her life and use her time as she wishes; the toads she complains about are certainly obnoxious, but all choices have consequences, many of which are unknown but some are predictable. Being a feminist with a blog, one might think her more sensitive to the notion of sexual exploitation, and the ease in which the internet lends itself to amplifying those issues, so why is she so adamant about putting herself in a vulnerable place?

The internet is full of these kinds of websites, pictures and commentary; it is also full of adolescent and post-adolescents disclosing all kinds of personal details; it is impossible for a regular person to regulate except what they post of themselves. I'm sorry if it can't help sounding like the old "blame the rape victim," but I think she hasn't thought this out especially well. It's not like she should expect middle-aged Big Law attorneys to be the most savvy people in the world when it comes to internet communities heavily populated by teens, college students and young adults; nor would the average client of Big Law firms be the most savvy people in the world when it comes to these same internet communities. Why would any Big Law firm take that chance, now?

Ann Althouse said...

Secretly flattered?

I posted the link, didn't I? I own up to what I suspected the law students of. Except the part about demanding sympathy. I don't. Actually, it strikes me as funny. And I suspect the guys there are very young, perhaps only 13 or so. Do you think they're especially attractive and enjoying active sexual relationships? We know they have a relationship with their keyboard.

And Kevin is right. If I ever put up a photograph of myself on the web, it is with the complete expectation that people will comment on my appearance. I'd be a fool not to know that. I'm not saying that makes the "massive toilet" peachy. I'm just saying, if you don't like the toilet, don't go to the toilet.

Oh, but aren't those boys terrible? says the "feminist." Let me just quote my mother: "You're only encouraging them."

Kevin Lomax said...

The Emperess has no clothes.

AllenS said...

It's that damned vortex, isn't it?

Pogo said...

Jill from Feministe wants to control how people react to the pictures she posted, demanding they be appreciated only in the way a feminist would appreciate the beauty of a woman in a gown or swimsuit.

This is so obviously unlikely as to make me wonder whether her planet has a blue sky and gravity. Men getting together and crudely discussing a woman's looks? It cannot be!

21st century Americans lacking any sense of propriety or shame about women, treating them as objects, almost as if they could watch Girls Gone Wild or porn or internet sex anytime they want, as if there were no boundaries to behavior at all? Impossible!

Wherever did people ever get the idea that sexual behavior can be completely without consequences? I mean, besides Rousseau and Marx, Shulamith Firestone, the SDS and the Weathermen, Jagger, the Go-Go's, and Fifty cent? Seriously man, where'd guys pick this stuff up?

Sloanasaurus said...

It is to some extent her fault for having all of the pictures up in the first place. At the same time, it is also wrong for these kids to show such disrespect.

She can also take action. If I were her, I would start trying to track these kids down and threaten legal action - regardless of whether a possible legal action exists or not. 99% of the idiots out there posting stuff like this will succomb to even minor threats.

Hazy Dave said...

Impressive. It makes me curious about the level of discourse at the less "prestigious law school admissions discussion boards".

Jeff said...

Pogo-

Human nature is perfectable- Karl Marx said so!

Steve Donohue said...

Speaking of good names for blogs:

"Scummy law school sleazebags"

quimby10 said...

It is to some extent her fault for having all of the pictures up in the first place.

Come on, Sloanasaurus. I think you can argue that it makes her a bit naive, but her fault? The responsibility for the heinous commentary lies with those who made the comments.

me said...

Sadly Ann I would place a bet that most of the commenters on autoadmit are actual 1L or 2L men. They act incredibly obnoxious and say things that are horrible b/c they can't get caught. Personally I think Jill should have just ignored the whole thing, but its hard to ignore people saying they want to "hate fuck" you and ignore the threat of people taking pics of you at completely random times with their camara phone. The anonymity is frightening too -- they could be the person sitting next to you in Conlaw or someone 3000 miles away, you just don't know.

quimby10 said...

Actually, the discussion of this issue over the past couple of days has made me curious about something - maybe someone better versed in the law can answer it for me.

Let's say that an anonymous commenter on a message board or blog (like AutoAdmit) posted a defamatory statement about another person. I believe I read about a recent decision saying that site owners cannot be held responsible for comments left on their site; if true, what recourse does the target have? Would the site owner be required to disclose identifying information (like an IP address) so the target could take action against the commenter?

bill said...

When all this dies down we need to revisit and discuss "environmentally-friendly feminist clothing".

JohnK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

Feministe: What is exploitative is to use someone else’s pictures in a contest that they haven’t consented to, which can have negative consequences on their careers. I emailed the contest site owners (who are anonymous, naturally) and asked to be taken out of the contest. They didn’t even bother to respond — except by posting a clarification on the contest site that they would not be taking down any pictures until after the contest was over.

I agree with her. Its bad enough that they used her pictures out of context without her permission, whats worse is that they refused to yank them down when she tried to opt out of their silly contest.

Reminds me of the fake photoshop of Malkin in a bikini on spring break that some feminist site had linked to. Wonkette too, and the comments there was just as leacherous. I don't see a search function on Jill's blog, and I'm wondering how she responded to that indcident.

JohnK said...

Jill strikes me as one of those women who wants it both ways. On the one hand she puts up numerous pictures of herself and her boyfriend. On the other hand she is shocked when someone makes juvenile comments about them. It is one thing if someone is out taking pictures of you without your knowledge or consent and posting them on the internet. When that happens you are a victim. It is quite another when you put numerous pictures of yourself in the public domain. There are lots of women who comment on here who have cartoon characters in lieu of personal pictures. Why not do what Ann does and just put a head shot up? Is there a reason why Jill feels the need for the whole world to get the full view of her face and figure other than she wants the world to know how cute she is or thinks she is?

If other women are smart enough to figure out that it is a bad idea to put up a bunch of pictures of themselves on the internet because they don't want a bunch of strangers out commenting on their looks, why isn't 1L Jill smart enough to figure that out? I went to law school with a lot of women who were a lot more attractive than Jill and none of them ever had this problem. Of course, they weren't putting their faces all over the internet either. That doesn't excuse the behavior of the idiots on this site, but it is not like men making crude comments about women is a new phenomenon.

me said...

JohnK -- Why should women even go outside? They know men will look at them and make comments about how they look. If they want not to be judged on their looks and have crude comments made about them, well maybe they just should should wear a burqa.

Obviously over the top but that seems to be where your comment was going. Of course people have the right to make rude, crude comments -- but it is disgusting and shouldn't be tolerated (i.e., accepted as normal, I'm not advocating censorship).

Sloanasaurus said...

JohnK is 100% correct.

Is Althouse guilty of the same thing? Is she more or less admitting so without saying it by the existence of this post. Maybe, maybe not...but if I was "hot" I would be also be posting my pictures. It's human nature to desire compliments and any way you can get them. Why else does an artist desire that his or her works be viewed.

JohnK said...

"but it is disgusting and shouldn't be tolerated (i.e., accepted as normal, I'm not advocating censorship)."

You have to leave the house to live and work. Putting up numerous pcitures of yourself is not exactly necessary.

What do you mean shouldn't be tolerated? You don't like it and are free to say so just like they are free to voice their opinions on Jill's looks and she is free to put her pictures up or not put them up. Is Jill free and justified to say that these guys are jerks? Absolutely. Is she justified and claiming to be a victim after someone commented on pictures that she chose to put into the public domain? No way. Anymore than she is a victim if someone walks up to her and tell her how beautiful he thinks she is. Free speech sucks like that sometimes.

quimby10 said...

JohnK - Jill, like many of us, was probably using the photosharing site to share pictures with friends and family. I think it's a stretch to assume that she was intentionally trying to objectify herself. My understanding from her post is that as soon as she realized that the photos were being used by AutoAdmit, she made them private. Unfortunately, the damage was already done.

Additionally, I think "juvenile" a real understatement regarding comments that contain musings about raping, "hate-fucking," and surreptitiously photographing the women in question.

Drew W said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MadisonMan said...

Jill seems incredibly naive. Puts photos on the internet and doesn't realize they might be used for purposes she didn't consider.

And she should be hired by a law firm why, exactly?

JohnK said...

quimby10,

At least as of yesterday there were tons of pictures on Jill's website that were not private. What on earth did she make private? Further, I don't know anyone who shares pictures with their friends via a website. There is this whole other method called e-mail that allows you to share all the pictures you want with family and friends.

As far as the comments made on the site, I am sure they were pretty disgusting. The question is what do you do about that? My answer is to ignore it and don't put your pictures on the internet because the sad fact is there are people out there like that. That is just common sense.

quimby10 said...

Additionally, I think some people are understating how difficult it would really be for someone to prevent all photographic images of themselves from appearing on the internet. Even if you never personally upload personal photographs, there are infinite ways your image can still be made availalbe.

Think of all the pictures taken by your friends at dinners, parties, and other outings. Think of all the formally photographed occasions you attend - weddings, professional seminars, etc. All of these images can and do end up on photosharing sites, social networking sites, and other places. Even if you could devote the time to ask every individual to take the pictures down, you don't have the legal right to do so. As Jill's experience demonstrates, even in cases where you do own the images you might not be successful in having them removed.

Fen said...

Sure, but twist it around: Your son is a US Marine who lost his leg to an IED. Sheehan downloads his photo and plasters it across a banner at a protest, subtitled: "Maimed for a Lie" [as per Code Pink].

quimby10 said...

Johnk - You don't know anyone who shares pictures on the internet? I think that's pretty unusual. Many people use sites like Flickr to share photos, and to store them - images are relatively large files and storing too many on a personal computer can severely strain its resources.

For example, Ann Althouse frequently links to her personal Flickr account, which hosts a variety of her photographs - including shots of friends and family.

JohnK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JohnK said...

At some point Jill needs to get over herself and learn to rise above things. It seems that she got angry over the contest and got down in the mud with these jerks. Sure enough, her going after them elicited the worst responses from them. That doesn't excuse their behavior, but the whole thing is just a junior high slam fest. My advice to Jill is grow up, take your pictures off the internet and completely ignore these people. They will move on and find something else to do and nothing you say to them is going to change them. You have a great life. You are young smart and nice looking and have a better life than 99.9% of the world. If this is the worst thing that ever happens to her, she is going to live a fabulous life. At some point the whining histrionics get a bit ridiculous. If Jill really wants to know what hardship in this society is like, I advise her to gain 60lbs and grow 30 years older, then she will find out the true meaning of sexism. I am sorry but nice looking 20 something law students whose big concerns include not being able to participate in the anti girls of NYU calendar protest because they were in Italy at the time don't make particularly compelling victims.

Maxine Weiss said...

Some of my fondest moments have been spent reading the pornographic poetry, and scatological commentary, on Mens Bathroom walls....(When nobody was in there).

I saw Jill's name, measurements, all over the walls.

It was very thrilling and titillating to me.

Peace, Maxine

David said...

In the old west it used to be called "dry gulching" when someone took a pot shot at you as you were minding your own business.

The internet reminds me of bumper stickers that were the precursor to internet displays of opinion. Students would ask me if I would hire them while I was working for Junior Achievement. I suggested that if their car was covered with anti-establishment stickers including, but not limited to, Che Guevarra, Fidel Castro, medical marijuana, question authority, hemp clothes, pachouli, etc., it would probably affect their employment prospects.

After decrying their free speech rights I asked them to explain the difference between rights and privileges. Responsibility and accountability are anathema to the perpetually juvenile who "dry gulch" others under the guise of freedom of speech. Expecting to have an employer hire you because of your ability to speak truth to power is a fantasy in most cases.

I hear the ACLU is hiring!

JohnK said...

Maxine you are awesome!!!

quimby10 said...

"The question is what do you do about that? My answer is to ignore it and don't put your pictures on the internet because the sad fact is there are people out there like that."

I don't have any terrific insight about a solution - I wish I did. What I object to is blaming Jill, or anyone in a similar situation, for the fact that their image is available on the internet. As I discussed in a previous comment, it's not something one has total control over. Disapproval should be focused squarely on the anonymous commenters who make heinous and threatening comments.

"...it is not like men making crude comments about women is a new phenomenon."

You are correct that this behavior is not new. It is, however, a relatively new phenomenon that such comments are now made anonymously and on the web, accessible to everyone. Like I said, I don't have any great solution to the problem, but I do think that certain aspects of the issue are relatively recent developments and require evaluation.

JohnK said...

quimby,

I don't disapprove of Jill and I don't blame her for thinking these guys are dirtbags. I just don't think she is quite the victim she claims. She should be grown up enough to just ignore it and move on. They are nobodies on a stupid web site.

quimby10 said...

Johnk - Well, the blessing and curse of the internet is that the views of "nobodies on a stupid website" are now accessible to everyone.

Let's remove Jill and the specifics of her life and situation from the discussion for a moment. What if photos of your daughter/mother/sister were available on the internet, even though they'd never personally uploaded them - maybe friends put a group photo on Myspace, or a wedding photographer published snapshots on Flickr.

If you were to google their name and find people on a message board discussing raping them, calling them sluts, advising people to take cell phone photographs of them at the gym, wouldn't you be a bit upset?

If that were to happen to me, I'd be particularly disturbed that prospective employers could google my name and find those comments. We can argue that smart employers would ignore such drivel, but the fact of the matter is that there are probably many people like Tim upthread, who might reason that your daughter/mother/sister isn't:

...astute enough to organize her life to minimize the prospective liabilities of internet communities...Why would any Big Law firm take that chance, now?

Maxine Weiss said...

I'm serious.

If you really want to gauge the character of law students....visit the Men's Bathrooms of various schools, and give a look at the prose on the bathroom walls.

You learn quite a bit about the caliber of the students.

For instance: at UW, I've heard Ann's name is scribbled all over the Men's bathroom walls, and not in pen either.

---amidst the glory holes and used tissues.

Nothing like Law School men's rooms !



Peace, Maxine

Peter Palladas said...

a picture of me in a bathing suit

..Thus Spake Jill.

I love that phrase 'bathing suit' - haven't heard it for decades.

Curiously, a Google search 'Althouse + suit + bathing' reveals several thousand options, whilst the more specific 'Althouse + "bathing suit"' still lists over five hundred.

But it's late in the day and I'm too weary from work to go through all the links, so if Ann wants me to see a photo of her in a bikini she's just going to have to post one on here ;-)

if you don't like the toilet, don't go to the toilet.

Thus Spake Ann

There's a 'kitchen', 'hot', 'leave' thing I like about that, but before I go throwing it at my adversaries as the new putdown, I need to explore the consequences of the image a bit further.

Hmmmm....yes I can avoid the kitchen by having someone else cook for me but... Well there it somewhat falls down.

Actually though, it's the very logical fallibility of the concept that lends it a certain charm. I shall use it at once!

JohnK said...

The first piece of advice I will give any daughter I may have is don't have a myspace page and don't put your pictures on the internet. The second piece of advice I will give her is that the world is hard and there are a lot of jerks out there. That she needs to keep her dignity and not reduce herself to those people's level.

If Jill were my daughter, I would be most disapointed that she seems to only read the New York Times and didn't find books important enough to list any on her blogger profile. As far as this kerflufle, I would tell her walk away from it.

Peter Palladas said...

So come on Jill. You're American. You're a lawyer. Advise yourself to sue someone. There are millions to be made.

Roger said...

I do have a layman's question re internet and privacy--What is the state of law with respect to the internet? Is the medium too new for settled law to evolve? I hear folks tossing around a whole bunch of legal terms. Help!

Wade_Garrett said...

I agree with Quimby.

I've got some photographs up on the internet, and I belong to some peer networks. But a photograph of you and your friends is innocent. If people started to leave me all sorts of disturbing messages and commented on my appearance on a website where I couldn't edit or remove those comments, I would feel violated.

Judging by how Professor Althouse reacted to people impersonating her this fall, it appears as if she can't take the heat, yet won't leave the kitchen.

Don't judge others for feeling the same way.

SteveR said...

Nowadays nothing really happens unless you capture it on film/tape/video, etc. Better yet post it on the web somewhere. Gee I went to the beach, see the pics!

Too much information really, about everyone. Reminds me of the decline of Olympic television coverage when they started all the Up Close and Personal crap about some weightlifter from Bulgaria, ad naseum.

People do stuff all the time, some small fraction of it is marginally interesting, very little of it is very interesting to anyone other than a mother, grandmother or best friend. Yet because of technolgy we all feel we have to be a star of our own movie.

Do something important first.

quimby10 said...

Johnk - fair enough, but any daughter you might have will have no control over whether pictures of her end up on the internet. I agree that one generally needs to accept the reality of jerks in the world, but I think it's valid to be concerned that one's employment prospects and overall reputation are being - baselessly - negatively affected by those anonymous jerks. Is it the worst problem the world is facing? Of couse not, but it's still worth discussing.

Also, I don't think Jill sacrificed her dignity in any way by calling these people out, or trying to have images that she holds the rights to removed from the site. Standing up to jerks is a good thing, and at the very least people who google her name will now also be exposed to her take on the situation.

JohnK said...

"Yet because of technolgy we all feel we have to be a star of our own movie."

And then whine when it gets bad reviews. I fail to see how sharing your beach pics with grandma requires you to put your pictures up on a public domain. The only way to stop this kind of thing is to have strict speach laws and shut down sites that make crude comments about strange women. That doesn't sound like much of a sollution to me.

"But a photograph of you and your friends is innocent. If people started to leave me all sorts of disturbing messages and commented on my appearance on a website where I couldn't edit or remove those comments, I would feel violated."

Well sometimes life is like that. Maybe you should take the pictures down. It is your choice. If you are an attractive 20 something and don't want a bunch of old perverts sharing their sexual fantasies about you with the world, I would definitely advise taking them down. I am not saying that is fair, but that is life.

J. Peden said...

In Jill's perfect gender-feminist world any criticism of Jill's/the "victim's" lack of wisdom is "blaming the victim", including suggestions directed at the victim's own role in preventing her own further victimization.

In Jill's world being a victim is an epitome of being valued or acquiring value, especially in comparison to trying to be wise in dealing with the real world.

Jill's own complaint shows her condition to be rather intractable, even to the extent that granting her the status of irreducible impotence would not be enough for her.

Mellow-Drama said...

Althouse, are you sure that you, a law professor, are allowed to use the word "pussy" to describe your adversaries?

Seriously, though, Althouse - I'd like to get your thoughts on how this ties in to the celebrity-watching culture. All the people who are creeped out about the guys in the gym snapping camera phone pictures of these gals - are you okay with the celebrity stalkers contantly photographing people on the beach, at Starbucks, at the gym, etc.? You might argue that the difference is that the celebrities chose to be famous, but can you seriously say that someone who has a bit part in a t.v. show made the same "deal with the devil" that a Brad Pitt or Anna Nicole Smith made (i.e. incredible amounts of money in exchange for no privacy)?

And Althouse, do you think we're all just going to have to put up with the fact that this is, how the culture is, and we should all expect to be treated like rock stars? (and if so, how does that tie into the using-your-name thread?)

Wade_Garrett said...

JohnK -

Sometimes, you get hit by a car on your walk home from you work and you die. Sorry! Sometimes life is like that. If you don't want to take that risk then don't cross the street

Mellow-Drama said...

johnk, what if it isn't your choice? What if you posed for pictures on a fraternity road trip in college, and some of those friends have Flickr accounts you don't know about? Are we supposed to be able to demand that our friends take down photos of us? And if they don't, then how is it our fault?

Wade_Garrett said...

Its awfullly easy for Professor Althouse to criticize women for doing this.

Believe it or not, in most occupations you can't write three good articles, get tenure and then draw paychecks for the rest of your life.

Bruce Hayden said...

And Kevin is right. If I ever put up a photograph of myself on the web, it is with the complete expectation that people will comment on my appearance.

You should be able to see my current photo if you try to leave a comment here. I was a bit more identifiable in my last one, showing me skiing up to a cabin with the Canadian Rockies in the background. I like this one better. Yes, it is I, just upside down and up close.

Bruce Hayden said...

I did enjoy looking at the photos of the commenters here. I need one like Wade's. But as an IP attorney, I am reluctant to just "borrow" one. And I haven't looked that good for at least 25 years (if I ever did, which is debatable).

Internet Ronin said...

Posting anything from commentary to a picture in a publicly accessible place is not a good idea for anyone who will not like it when others use it in ways they had not intended. That holds true for Jill, Ann, me, and everyone else commenting here.

Jill apparently prefers to live in a dream world where she dictate how others act. Life doesn't work that way. What those guys have done is definitely sleazy and, I think, completely over-the-line. (It is one thing to make sleazy comments about anonymous pictures, it is definitely another thing to identify the person, their address and telephone number.) In a free country, they have a right to be bastards and idiots, and Jill has the right to damn their actions, and seek legal remedies for those actions, if available and she so chooses.

That someone has been running around the internet pretending to be Ann should not surprise her, either. Like it or not, she is a public figure now. Tens of thousands know who she is, or think they do, because they have read her public blog, her public writings, or criticism of the same. Thus, Ann can complain about the phony comments others are making, the sexist, vulgar, and mean characterizations, as well as the misrepresentations of her writings, but she really should not be surprised that such things happen. I doubt she is but I don't know for sure.

I'm relatively unknown and I've had people imitate me (why I don't know). A picture of myself that I posted a few years ago now graces no less than 5 sex sites (the kind with personals) without my permission. (A friend trolling one site found "me" and sent me the link.) As the operators of the sites were the same, well-hidden and located in Europe, it was impossible to get them to remove the pictures. I don't like it one bit but there doesn't seem to be anything to do about it so I just ignore it.

Maxine Weiss said...

I'm feeling Violated !!!!

And, my feelings are being hurt.

Really now. Since when is going to the gym a necessity? Prancing around in a tight leotard etc..

Can't Jill just use a Thighmaster in the privacy of her own bedroom?

Peace, Maxine

quimby10 said...

Again, I feel that it's inaccurate to suggest that the solution is to take one's pictures down. There are many, many ways that an individual's image can be put on the internet without the individual personally posting it.

Once that's done, the possibilities are endless. For example, I've read horror stories about people who have had their face photoshopped onto a nude body. Anyone who came across such an image might reasonably assume the person had voluntarily posed for a pornographic photo.

Internet Ronin said...

mellow-drama - That is a problem, isn't it? Your friends post pictures without permission, someone "borrows" them for a "contest" without permission, and then there is no way to get them back.

Moral: Know your friends. Tell them not to post your pictures. Too hard? Then get new friends or break their camera. Anyway, many photo upload sites allow users to lock their photos from public view. Only the user and the user'a authorized friends can view. That is probably the best solution under the cicumstances.

Henry said...

Well first -- Jill is right about one thing. These guys are sleazebags.

Second, the best defense is obscurity. Keep your Flickr account private. Don't write a popular blog.

But if you do write a popular blog and run into sleazebags, then I don't see any problem with calling them on it. What's a blog for if not to settle scores?

Wade_Garrett said...

Even if she posted some photographs on line, that's no defense against having her photo taken in the locker room of a gym.

Ann says that we're supposed to EXPECT that that could happen. I disagree. It is a tort. It is a crime. Being run over by a drunk driver is also a tort and a crime, and we don't expect that to happen. We know that it could POSSIBLY happen, but that doesn't we forego our right to a remedy every time we cross the street.

quimby10 said...

internet ronin - wow, that's genuinely disturbing about the sex sites.

Moral: Know your friends.

I mean, that's generally good advice, but doesn't really solve the problem. There are tons of photographs of me on the internet taken by people I don't know. For example, I attended a wedding recently. Not only did other attendees take photographs of the occasion that landed on photosharing sites, the hired photographer published his photos on his business site. And what about the commenters on the AutoAdmit board who suggested that people covertly snap pictures of women in various public places?

The lesson really isn't to keep one's image off the internet - that's impossible. The general issue I'm curious about is what type of rights people have - or should have - with respect to the use of their image.

Internet Ronin said...

Wade: if it is a crime - so what? Are we supposed to naively believe that because something is a crime it will never happen on the internet? Internet crimes happen every minute. Are we supposed to preempt crimes on the internet? How do you propose to do that?

Are you upset that not that many people are outraged such a thing as what happened to Jill has happened? Gee, Wade, did you just get your first computer yesterday? (I think not.) This kind of crap has been happening for years Wade. Jill isn't the first - wont be the last. Am I supposed to drop everything I am doing and go on a campaign on her behalf? No, I don't think so. Almost everyone here agrees - very sleazy stuff. Too bad it happened. Wish it wasn't like that but it is. Lesson learned, if not learned before. Time to move on. Not much else to say or do.

Unfortunately, experience dictates that we all should expect the worst on the internet and behave accordingly

Mellow-Drama said...

Internet Ronin, I disagree with your solution. The solution is - ignore the bastards who appropriate your photo for their evil means.

I get it, Althouse, why you brought this up in conjunction with the users posting comments in your name. Your point is that it's far more damaging to one's reputation to have words one didn't write attributed to you, than it is to have idiots talking about you. (Expansion on this thought here.)

Do I get a gold star?

But Althouse, I'm still interested in your solution: Do we just have to put up with it in our no-privacy culture?

Jeff said...

"Jill apparently prefers to live in a dream world where she dictate how others act."

...otherwise known as the feminist left.

I'm reminded of an article about a womyn's music festival in Michigan or Wisconsin. The author of the piece described a riot grrrl concert with a mosh pit (I use the tem loosely). Apparently various womyn would rush up to the microphone (during the music) and shout 'rules' for the pit (no pushing, etc). This happened repeatedly and I'm assuming to little effect.

The notion that one could dictate behavior this way is amusing at best. A mosh pit will have loose standards of behavior which are enforced by general cosensus, not by some empowered grrrl dictating her rules to everyone else. If a guy had tried that he would have been ignored, laughed at, or beaten up (depending on the crowd).

I somehow doubt that the blogospher is much different.

PS- Why would a feminist expect any kind of chivalry from men?

Internet Ronin said...

And what about the commenters on the AutoAdmit board who suggested that people covertly snap pictures of women in various public places?

Incredibly sleazy but nothing new - people have been taking unauthorized pix through peepholes for decades - and trading them with others. The internet jsut makes it all easier and more "public."

One advantage of the public aspect is that, as Wade says, it is undoubtedly a crime. So report them to the authorities. If they are conspiring to commit a crime, charge them. If they actually committed a crime, charge them. IF and when they are prosecuted, publicize it. If convicted, publicize THAT.

Not much else we can do, is there?

It seems to me that, as the host of all this garbage is now aware of what is happening there, they cannot plead ignorance, which I think would cause them some difficulty in a court of law should someone wish to take action against them.

quimby10 said...

Internet Ronin, if a crime is perpetrated either in the "real" world or the virtual one, shouldn't a remedy be available to the victim?

Ann Althouse said...

Internet Ronin: "A picture of myself that I posted a few years ago now graces no less than 5 sex sites..."

So you're telling us you're good-looking, then. Pissed, but also good-looking.

Anyway, I wish people would stop saying I'm blaming Jill or whatever. I'm not saying the women did something wrong. Quite the opposite. I'm just saying there are ways to minimize dangers, and dangers that you see and decide to risk. There are harms for which you pursue remedies and harms that you blow off. I'm just recommending being sane and reasonable about what you do when other people wrong you.

There's a street I need to cross every day going back and forth to my parking garage. I see people run the red light all the time. They are wrong. It bugs me. But one thing I do is watch and wait until I'm sure the cars have stopped. That doesn't make them less wrong.

Internet Ronin said...

I do agree, mellow-drama, but so many people are unwilling to do that, including our host. That is what I chose to do about my own problem with this kind of thing a couple of years ago. Hadn't even seriously thought about it again until today. (And just went to check and see if "I" am still there - and, yes, "I" am, or at least on one of the sites so I assume it is true for all of them.)

quimby10 said...

It seems to me that, as the host of all this garbage is now aware of what is happening there, they cannot plead ignorance, which I think would cause them some difficulty in a court of law should someone wish to take action against them.

I did recently read of a recent decision holding that site owners cannot be held responsible for the postings of commenters. I'm curious as to whether they are nevertheless required to remove legally defamatory statements, or if they would be required to provide identifying information about an anonymous commenter so that the target could take legal action.

Internet Ronin said...

No Ann, that is the funny thing! I would say I'm a bit above average, maybe ;-)The photo (fully clothed) wasn't particularly good, in fact. Which is whay the whole thing was so mystifying.

As for the rest of your comment - I see we agree. I thought we did.

Seven Machos said...

How do you keep track of yourself on sex sites?

Internet Ronin said...

site owners cannot be held responsible for the postings of commenters.

Like you, I wonder if that holds true if they KNOW of the existence of the comments and still refuse to take appropriate action?

And yes, site operators regularly provide all requested private information about their customers when subpeaoned.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

We have way too many confusing questions and issues floating around here.

Should I expect a right to privacy for images of myself I post in a public forum?

Should I expect a right to privacy for images of myself taken by others with my consent to be posted by those others to a public forum?

Do I have a right not to have images taken of myself without my consent?

Do I have a right not to have images of myself taken without my consent posted to a public forum?

Part of this is consent and identification.

If I take a picture that includes images of things and people and do not identify the people should I post that image in a public forum? Ann has done so (once she had declared permission of the individual to post the image, other times she has not said one way or the other, and has never, to the best of my knowledge, identified anyone other than close friends and family), what becomes of the rights to that image then?

Does this more concern the identification of the image than the image itself?

Would it make a difference if AutoAdmit had said crude things about ‘the third blonde from the left’, as opposed to naming her?

The whole crux of the matter is personal identification, and it was self identification that has caused Jill’s problems. No one pulled this anonymous image from a college yearbook; it was pulled form her website where she had all of her identifying information. This is why I lack some initial sympathy.

Where my feelings shift is the suggested stalking. I don’t care if the perverts on this site pull posted images and verbally masturbate over them, but encouraging the stalking of any individual is over the line whether the images are from the gym, the street or the classroom.

Internet Ronin said...

seven - personal ads for sex on sites like that use a nickname for their members. All one has to do is search the site by that name. In this case, someone used a screen name that I once used on a bulletin board about investments. Guess they didn't like my opinions ;-)

Internet Ronin said...

Seven - forgot to add this: I don't (keep track of it). I prefer NOT to think about the whole damn thing and am beginning to wish now I had not brought it up here.

Wade_Garrett said...

Internet Ronin - Once again, you're entirely missing the point. All I'm saying is that she's right to be pissed off about it. Its her blog, she can make pissed-off posts if she wants to.

And the newspaper articles were written in large part to warn others.

All sorts of bloggers have read about it and used it as an opportunity to pile on. To me, that reeks of sexism. Are you telling me you wouldn't get pissed about this if it happened to you?

quimby10 said...

Would it make a difference if AutoAdmit had said crude things about ‘the third blonde from the left’, as opposed to naming her?

Yes, I think this would make a difference, because part of the issue is the extent to which one's reputation is defamed by anonymous commenters describing people as "sluts," "whores," etc. I'd argue that the damage is far greater when those statements are part of the virtual record accessed by someone googling your name.

Internet Ronin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Internet Ronin said...

No Wade, that is obviously NOT waht I said. How you can think that is wht I said is not worth trying to figure out at the moment.

She has a right to her opinion. She has a right to express it. She has a right to say anything she wants (and pay a price if something she says is actionable). I support her rights. I have a right to comment on her public statements. So do others.

You seem to skip comments if you failed to understand that. In fact, given your last question, I am pretty sure you do. I answered that question a long time ago on this thread. Probably explains why you don't understand Ann Althouse's opinion either.

Joe said...

Folks, this isn't some weird hypothetical where some innocent person was suddenly picked on. Jill writes an intimate blog and has heavily promoted herself, making herself a public figure, and now complains when things haven't gone by her script. Well duh.

This is more than a bit like politicians whining when someone digs up dirt on them. Or movie stars for that matter.

Before anyone responds with another stupid hypothetical, remember that she wasn't picked at random; she MADE HERSELF A PUBLIC FIGURE.

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeff said...

Meanwhile, in a similar vein:

Porn Free

Left-wing blogs gleefully outed my gay porn past after I criticized antiwar zealots. But the truth has set me free.

Revenant said...

She can also take action. If I were her, I would start trying to track these kids down and threaten legal action - regardless of whether a possible legal action exists or not.

That's a good way to get disbarred. Hopefully the women in question are smarter than that.

You can't sue somebody for saying you've got great tits and he wants to ejaculate on them, unless you work for him. Crude behavior is not a tort.

Revenant said...

Even if she posted some photographs on line, that's no defense against having her photo taken in the locker room of a gym.

It is a given that photographing someone in the locker room at the gym is indefensible.

But, um, who exactly did this happen to? The article says "she now fears going to the gym because people on the site encouraged classmates to take cellphone pictures of her". No mention of any photos actually BEING taken, and no mention of the locker room. How the heck would men even get into the women's locker room at the gym anyway?

Pogo said...

There are few things more pathetic than watching people like Jill raging against the falling rain and the blowing wind.

Internet Ronin and Revenant have precisely identified the underlying way things are in the world. As much as Jill wishes it were otherwise, she'll sooner have a pony and free ice cream forever. Joe and Theo suggested ways to benefit from her error.

The hardest part for some folks to abide here are that the sleazy guys involved are in fact wrong and blameworthy, and yet nothing bad will happen to them for all this. I hope she shakes it off, thinks lesson learned and either moves on or decides to use her experience to help someone else.

The Drill SGT said...

Pogo said...
21st century Americans lacking any sense of propriety or shame about women, treating them as objects, almost as if they could watch Girls Gone Wild or porn or internet sex anytime they want, as if there were no boundaries to behavior at all? Impossible!


Pogo, wake up my man, your comment was so, so 20th century. In the 21st, the women are also objectifying men and talking about them lewdly in the locker room. Note Sex in the City, or Desperate Housewives, etc.

Revenant said...

Maybe its just because I've read 19th, 18th, and 17th century porn, but I don't see how men are viewing women as sex objects any more now than we did then. We're just actually ADMITTING to it now.

What's new is men treating women as actual people, rather than as convenient combined baby-factory/chefs.

The Drill SGT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

Re: "We're just actually ADMITTING to it now."

I submit you are correct. My quarrel is over whether Jill's predicament is worth the loss of that hidden, more furtive approach, one marked by shame and religious proscription.

Some find such lack of restraint jes' fine, wonderful even; others, not so much. That is, embarrassment can be useful, at a societal level.

Fen said...

The hardest part for some folks to abide here are that the sleazy guys involved are in fact wrong and blameworthy, and yet nothing bad will happen to them for all this. I hope she shakes it off, thinks lesson learned and either moves on or decides to use her experience to help someone else.

The irony is that Jill's reaction to this may affect her employment ops more than the scummy law school sleazebags. Some employers may wonder if she's just another walking sexual discrimination lawsuit waiting to happen, and take a pass on that risk.

Seven Machos said...

I suspected this woman may have made herself into more of a public figure than was let on. Also, keep in mind that these are bright law students just dorking around.

Why do we keep hearing about hypothetical crimes and torts when none have occurred?

Revenant said...

My quarrel is over whether Jill's predicament is worth the loss of that hidden, more furtive approach, one marked by shame and religious proscription.

That "furtive approach" was, I think, a late-19ths/early-20th century historical anomaly. Heck, even Shakespeare was deemed too bawdy for public consumption for most of that period.

Mellow-Drama said...

SM's comment intrigued me, because some of those comments are incredibly vile. "Dorking around"? These guys have totally degenerated into animals. I think this is another symptom of anonymity (or perceived anonymity, anyway) and it is a little bit scary to see what happens when people aren't going to be held responsible for what they say.

Not that I'm advocating not letting them say it; I just don't like what I see.