A Plea For Civility

I’ve had a number of clients lately express their frustration with nasty online comments made about them by anonymous posters. And I suppose I add to that frustration when I tell them that there is only so much that the law can do about it. The federal Communications Decency Act essentially immunizes the operators of interactive computer services from liability for third party postings. Which means that the only target of a lawsuit for the comments would be the anonymous posters, who probably don’t have a lot of assets and who can resurface with a new pseudonym. It’s like playing whack a mole. Tough to win. So I found this article by Joshua Topolsky particularly meaningful. It is a recognition that technology can only do so much to police civility and it ends with a plea for the online community to clean up its act. I’m not naïve, and I realize Topolsky’s article, well written as it is, will fall on a lot of deaf ears. But it’s food for thought. Agree?