Privacy Law

Paralegal Sues Over 'Herpes' Blog Post


An unidentified Texas paralegal is suing an Internet gossip blog over an anonymous February post that allegedly portrayed her, using her name, as unattractive and infected with herpes, among other negative characterizations.

The cruel post on thedirty.com has humiliated and upset her and made it difficult for her to focus on her work, says the plaintiff in a lawsuit apparently filed in state court in Texas, according to the Houston Chronicle.

It names as defendants Dirty World Entertainment, which owns the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based website, and its founder, Hooman Karamian. Although federal law protects website operators from liability for content posted by others, the site and Karamian are liable for comments made by Karamian that validated the anonymous post, according to attorney Chris Bell of Houston, who filed the suit for the paralegal.

“We’ve got to do something whereby folks posting on the Internet are playing by defamation and privacy laws, too,” Bell tells the Chronicle.

But Arizona attorney David Gingras, who represents the defendants, says they, just like those responsible for the Facebook and MySpace social networking sites, aren’t liable for what users say in posts.

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