In Sunday’s Chicago Tribune, Josh Noel reported on the town of Cicero’s efforts to identify the creators of two MySpace pages containing false and allegedly defamatory statements about Cicero Town President Larry Dominick and claiming to be authored by him– click here for the story. The incident and Noel’s story raise questions about the problems with the anonymity of the internet that are equally interesting and difficult. Noel talked to me about the difficulties of policing social networking sites for the story. Here are my quotes:
"There’s an element of this we just have to live with," said Dave Donoghue, an attorney with DLA Piper who specializes in intellectual property litigation. "It’s impossible to have large-scale social networking sites, which people clearly want, without having some risk of this."
Greater policing of social networking sites would be impractical, Donoghue said, comparing it to air travel.
"To make air travel 100 percent safe, the background checks and checks of personal possessions of each individual getting on an airplane would be so cumbersome, time consuming and expensive, it would make air travel impractical," he said. "There has to be a balance."