Fake Story On Giraffe Attack Removed From Web

A Florida state court judge has ordered a Web site to take down a story concerning a giraffe attack at the Global Wildlife Center in Folsom Florida. The problem with the story is that it is entirely made up. The Web site operator says that the story was merely satire. The Center, and the court apparently, see it differently. The Center argued that the Web site does not label itself as a satire, and visitors could easily mistake the piece as fact, not fiction. The ruling raises First Amendment concerns about the nature of satire and whether the order constitutes “prior restraint.” It’s also interesting that the Web site operator himself provided the content. Had a third party provided the content to the site, it’s possible the Communications Decency Act would have precluded the injunction. We will see what happens. But be careful around giraffes, just to be safe.