October 22, 2009
Erstwhile Yale Law students Heide Iravani and Brittan Heller settle the lawsuit they brought against Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey, Pauliewalnuts and Sleazy Z, etc. — the AutoAdmit commenters who wrote those nasty things.
I've written about this lawsuit many times, and now, because the terms of the settlement are being kept secret, it's hard to comment. I would like to know if the real goal of the lawsuit was to destroy the various individuals who had written under pseudonyms. Did the claims have much chance of success? Not knowing how much if any money Heller and Iravani extracted from the men they sued, it's hard to say. That dollar amount is an important fact — kept secret — that has to do with whether the legal process was used mainly (or only) to inflict public exposure on people who took advantage of the ability to write pseudonymously on the internet. That is an important free speech issue, and I would like all the relevant information about it. Heller and Iravani got the names they wanted. I want the numbers.