Saturday 18 November 2017

Ex-model takes Google to court over 'humiliating' film

Jennifer Peltz in New York

AN ex-model has gone to court to try and force YouTube and Google to unmask a cyber cipher who posted what she says are unauthorised videos of her and online comments that hurt her reputation.

Carla Franklin, a former model and actress-turned-businesswoman, said in a legal petition that she believes a Google user or users impugned her sexual mores in comments made under pseudonyms on a Columbia Business School website. Ms Franklin says someone also posted unauthorised YouTube clips of her appearing in a small-budget independent movie.

Google said in a statement that it doesn't discuss individual cases to protect users' privacy, but it follows applicable laws.

The postings caused Ms Franklin "personal humiliation" and hurt her professional prospects as she was job-hunting after graduating from the Ivy League business school in 2009, her legal papers say.

The video clips were innocuous but unauthorised, and she found it creepy that someone had unearthed the film and posted pieces in an apparent effort to make her uncomfortable, her lawyer has said.

Anonymity is a cherished and staunchly defended refuge for many internet users. But a growing number of people and businesses have tried to force blogs, websites and other online entities to disclose who's trashing them, and some have succeeded.

In one case that grabbed headlines, 'Vogue' cover model Liskula Cohen successfully sued Google in a state court in Manhattan last year to get the name of a blogger who had published comments about Cohen's hygiene and her sexual habits.

Cohen argued that the comments on the site were defamatory. The blogger, ultimately identified by court order as Rosemary Port, said her privacy was violated, and she had a right to her opinions.

Ms Franklin's petition, also filed in state court in Manhattan, cites that case and argues that she was also defamed by postings that "called into question her chastity".

Irish Independent

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