[MUD-Dev] AOL lawsuit

Jon Lambert tychomud at ix.netcom.com
Sat Sep 8 03:30:18 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


Matt Mihaly wrote:
 
> This is chilling:

>   http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1005-200-7017545.html?tag=lh
 
> It's about a lawsuit filed against AOL that alleges that AOL
> allowed hate speech to to unsanctioned in chat rooms for Muslims,
> in violation of federal civil rights laws.
 
>   "The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Alexandria seeks
>   class-action status and asks for an injunction requiring AOL to
>   enforce its rules that prevent members from sending messages
>   that offend community standards."  >

I thought I could come up with something interesting to say about
this.  Instead I'm left feeling this particular suit is really a
particularly boring User vs. TOS contract suit, that probably won't
be important.  I mean this is not U.S. vs AOL, or U.S. vs. AOL users
thank God.

The only bothersome aspect is that some activist judge might rule
that the term, "hate speech", is part of "offending community
standards".  "Hate speech" as opposed to plain old prurient or
obscene speech is ultimately speech of
political/religious/ideological consequence.  While it's certainly
within AOLs prerogative to boot, ban, or censor anything they want
on their servers, the consequences to other TOS agreements which
include generic "community standards" or nanny clauses might be
worth watching or maybe not.

Now what's really chilling is the EU socialist collective's response
to a democratically elected Austrian parliament (a "hate" party
won), and it's sanction and approval of another member's (Turkey)
banning of certain political parties that were considered "hate"
parties (Islamic).  *shiver* Thankfully for all their warts, the
U.S. courts are still workable enough to check that sort of
ideological hanky panky at some level.  Oh my I've straying off
topic again... ;-)

As for hobbyist muds, IMO ignore it.  Freedom of association still
rules!

--
--* Jon A. Lambert - TychoMUD        Email:jlsysinc at ix.netcom.com *--
--* Mud Server Developer's Page <http://tychomud.home.netcom.com> *--
--* If I had known it was harmless, I would have killed it myself.*--
 


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