Juicy Campus: One Down, Too Many More to Go

untitled.bmpToday, Juicy Campus shut its virtual doors. The good news: that site will no longer host anonymous postings that terrorize individuals with vile threats. It will no longer feature posts that disclose women’s home addresses with instructions that they are available for sex. It will no longer feature postings that jeopardize reputations with defamatory lies and embarassing personal information. The bad news: Juicy Campus is but a small (but notorious) player in a crowded (and odious) outfield. Anyone who thinks that its closing heralds the demise of anonymous gossip sites and cyber harassment more generally is sadly mistaken. Online harassment (especially of women) is pervasive in our networked environment. Approximately 40% of female Internet users have experienced cyber harassment. Although the tough economy cost Juicy Campus its online ad revenue and financial support, it did not dampen the appetite for such destructive behavior. Indeed, one might imagine that job lay offs and light wallets would fuel dissatisfaction and the desire to abuse others online. Unfortunately, eradicating cyber harassment will take much more than shuttering Juicy Campus and their ilk.

You may also like...

5 Responses

  1. Matt says:

    It will take Congress amending section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to expressly provide that websites cannot use its immunity carve-out as a shield unless they self-police content in line with the policy goals of the statute.

  2. Danielle Citron says:

    Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Matt. I agree. (I have an article coming out soon in the BU Law Review entitled Cyber Civil Rights in which I explore that suggestion and others to ensure that website operators exercise reasonable care given the aspirations of CDA, which, as you wisely note, was self-policing; I would love your comments on the piece. And Dan Solove has an interesting comment in yesterday’s Higher Ed article on Juicy Campus’s closing that you might want to check out: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/02/05/juicy

  3. Matt says:

    Thanks, Prof. Citron. I look forward to reading it. I think the Roommates court’s reasoning was a step in the right direction, but I’m not sure other circuits will sign on and I don’t think its reasoning could be used to deny a site like Juicy Campus section 230 immunity because I don’t believe Juicy Campus “contributes materially to the alleged illegality of the conduct” such that it becomes a co-developer or co-creator of the objectionable content that students posted. I do think that several suits against MySpace pending in various state and federal appellate courts could herald some additional limits on 230’s immunity carve-out, though, but we will have to wait and see.

  4. Tony says:

    Congrats to Reputation Defender for their apparently-effective campus advocacy on this issue.

  5. The US Government is finally coming for people like Ed Magedson of the RipOff Report (www.ripoffreport.com), and all of their posters.

    Plain and simple.