Friday, 28 November 2008

MySpace bullying

The technology newsfeed from the BBC on my MyYahoo said "Woman cleared of MySpace bullying".

The heading from Ray Corrigan's blog post, as it appears in my list of blogs on the left hand side of this page says "Guilty verdict in MySpace suicide case".

They are of course the same story. In the words of the BBC report:
Lori Drew, 49, was found not guilty of accessing a computer without authorisation to inflict emotional distress.

[...]

She was convicted on three minor counts of violating the website's terms and conditions.
So the BBC sees her being found not guilty of the more serious charge, while Ray sees her being found guilty of the violation of the website's terms and conditions.

2 comments:

Ray said...

David, Ms Drew was found guilty of computer fraud. The prosecutor and the jury interpreted the US Computer Fraud and Abuse Act as meaning that getting information from a website in violation of its terms and conditions constituted a criminal act (not a civil infringement). Whether that is a reasonable interpretation of the law or the sad facts of the case is another question entirely. One of the reasons the case is significant is that this is the first time that this interpretation of the Act has led to a conviction. (Btw on the more serious conspiracy charge the jury was deadlocked and the judge declared a mistrial on that charge). Sorry you didn't like my headline - which can never be a decent guide to the intricacies of a complex legal case anyway. The aim was to report not comment in this instance. Regards, Ray

David Chapman said...

Ray, thanks for the clarification. I didn't not like your headline (if you'll excuse the double negative), I was merely observing how one event can - quite reasonably - have apparently diametrically opposite headlines. Nothing terribly new in that observation, of course, it happens all the time, but relevant to my interest in 'information' all the same.