Fed II Star newsletter - masthead The weekly newsletter for the Fed II game by ibgames

EARTHDATE: January 15, 2006

Page 10

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An Ohio man who claims he was humiliated by two other participants in an AOL chatroom is suing them both for causing emotional distress, and also suing the ISP for failing to stop the alleged abuse. This case is said to be the first of its kind.

George Gillespie is suing George Marlowe of Alabama and Bob Charpentier of Oregon after the two men began teasing him online. Reports suggest that things went a bit further than just online teasing: Marlowe travelled to Ohio to hand in a change-of-address form into a post office in order to disrupt Gillespie's mail. Golly, what a tease!

But what about suing AOL? The ISP has not commented on the action, except for pointing to its code of conduct governing the behavior of its members, which it says it enforces strictly. Commentators are sceptical that the suit is likely to succeed. US ISPs are generally not held responsible for content written by other people, and the things people say in a chatroom would probably fall into that category.

As for the two men being sued for their over-the-top teasing, other reports suggest that Gillespie himself was not entirely innocent; when in the chatroom, he made fun of Charpentier's girlfriend, and posted a picture of his home online. Charpentier himself said "This lawsuit is just another form of harassment." It really does sound like they are all as bad as each other.

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