back to article Woman sues to force exposure of YouTube bullies

A business consultant is seeking a court order forcing Google to turn over the names of YouTube commentards who called her a whore and posted unauthorized videos of her. Carla Franklin, a former model and actress and a 2008 graduate of Columbia Business School in New York, petitioned a state court to unmask the individuals she …


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  1. jake Silver badge

    I would have never heard of Carla Franklen

    At least not until Carla Franklin advertised herself. Well done, that woman!

    See: Streisand Effect.

    1. raving angry loony
      Thumb Down

      catch 22

      It's a catch 22 for her. Either she just sits back and lets people slander/libel her, or she sues and is forced to have her name sullied even more.

      Wouldn't be great if we had just a bit more privacy in this society? Where people wouldn't be tried, judged and executed in the press by name before being found guilty in a court of law? Where people trying to protect their reputations didn't have to ruin it even more publicly in order to do so? I certainly wish we had a more responsible press - but that'll never happen. I'll settle for a press that is forced to keep details private under threat of severe penalties.

      As a general public, we don't actually NEED to know the name/address/shoe-size/vagina depth of everyone who needs to deal with the courts. We'd have all we need to know without the names. That would be a nice bit of privacy legislation to have, yes it would.

      1. Mad Dave

        No, it wouldn't.

        If you don't want to be accused of doing a certain act, then don't do it.

        There are plenty of existing laws which allow you to reclaim losses from the reckless actions of others.

        I welcome the freedom of the press, the freedom to express opinion, and to report upon the actions of anyone.

        If you don't like people knowing your business, then don;'t do what you are doing. If you do it, and someone says that you did it, well that's just tough, you shouldn't have did/done (apologies to grammar fascists) it.

        tl;dr Don't do it and no-one will say you have done. Do it and we will.

        1. Anonymous Coward


          "Don't do it and no-one will say you have done"

          Uhhh.... You don't actually think that, do you?

          I'm not in favor of essentially making anonymous comments illegal, but your argument is just absurd.

          1. Mad Dave

            I think you are misunderstanding me

            I am making the argument that the principle of 'veritas' is crucial to any case.

            In essence : I can say what I want about you, as long as it is true.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: I think you are misunderstanding me

              I think you are misunderstanding the article. The woman is complaining about unauthorised use of video footage. You might be able to say anything you like about whoever you wish but, with a few exceptions, you can't publish photos nor videos without consent.

            2. Alpha Tony

              The problem...

     that there are very few absolute truths in life, it is all a matter of opinion and large sections of the press make their living through innuendo rather than fact.

              The mere fact that someone makes an unfounded allegation is frequently reported on.

              For example I interview a homeless crazy man in the street and he says that Mad Dave molests hamsters. I then run a massive front page article in your local paper with the most dodgy looking picture of you I can find/take and a picture of a distressed looking hamster. I state that it has BEEN ALLEGED that you fiddle with our furry friends. I then go round and interview all your neighbours and ask them what they think about the allegation. I publish these out of context and only the bits that make you sound like a monster.

              Now you could sue the crazy homeless guys, who has nothing you could take. Coming after me would be much harder however as being a professional scumbag I have a team of highly trained lawyers on retainer and I have been careful to never say anything directly myself - I just printed what other people said and reacted to the allegations. That doesn't stop all your friends and colleagues from now thinking you are a danger to their pets however.

            3. TimeMaster T


              Isn't there a catch in there about also being able to prove it is true?

            4. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Say what you like ...

              ... but put your real name after it .

              Otherwise one is an anonymous coward seeking to avoid the rights of redress accorded by law.

            5. Sir Runcible Spoon



              You neglected to caveat that in your first post, after all, it isn't like the press lie do they?

            6. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward


              In practice it's very hard to establish the truth of a potentially libellous statement. Some statements are vague or open to all sorts of interpretations. Some are probably ironic or not meant or likely to be taken seriously. Some are strictly speaking true but perhaps deliberately designed to be misunderstood. And some are quite precise and unambiguous but there's no solid evidence to establish whether they are true or not apart from the contradictory statements given by the two parties involved. So what do you do in all those cases?

              I'm not sure I even agree with the principle of newspapers being allowed to print accurate but private information. For example, why is it important for newspapers to be allowed to print the names and pictures of the victims of a crime if those victims don't want the publicity?

            7. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

              @Mad Dave

              The point here is that of people getting in deep poo when someone says something UNTRUE about them. Someone accuses me of sexually harassing Jane Doe. In a court of law I theoretically am innocent unless proven guilty. In the court of public opinion, the lynch mob would be outside my door ready to string me up before I had my coffee and figured out what the hell was going on.

              What would be my alternatives in this case? Sue the individual for defamation of character? That would Streisand effect me something fierce. Sure, I might get a few bent coppers out of the twatdangle in question, but I'd have to change my name and move to another province to get away from the media circus simply because our society has next to no privacy, libel or slander laws for regular Joes.

              Now, if we had legislation that basically said “if you say something untrue about Joe that ruins his life, Joe gets to CLEAN YOU OUT” then this problem would be a little less one sided. I am not big on suing people as a solution to any problem, but the threat of being financially erased from existence might well prevent a few people from spreading lies and propaganda. Might even (though I doubt it) have a diminishing effect on bullying.

              Hell though, we live in the GOOGLE ERA. Change your name at 21 and enjoy everyone knowing everything about you forever!

              I am giving some serious thought to burning my PC and going to live in the woods.

            8. A.A.Hamilton

              @I think you are misunderstanding me

              'as long as it is true' -presents two issues to me:

              1. How can I be sure anything I say is true? (I might be deluding myself; I usually am)

              2. How can I prove it. (or how can I delude everybody else?)

              'Veritas' is a laudable principle, but may not be sufficiently practical in today's complex world. The failure to be able to satisfactorily resolve these 2 issues could prove life-changingly expensive, eh?

            9. Anonymous Coward

              The problem is...

              ... that I can say anything I like about you - anonymously.

            10. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Only if...

     are an obnoxious, vulgar little yob. The fact that the press and many individuals feel the need to act as such is what raving angry loony was bemoaning.

            11. Arclight


              "In essence : I can say what I want about you, as long as it is true."

              True, but they accused her of being a whore. Now unless they have absolute proof she had sex for money, they have made a libelous statement.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Definition Definitions

                One of the definitions of Whore is to compromise ones own self for some other gain. It is the same thing as saying that someone "sold out".

                I think we'd be hard pressed to find someone who has never compromised something for monetary or other gain.

        2. sabroni Silver badge

          miss the point much?

          "If you don't want to be accused of doing a certain act, then don't do it."

          Isn't this discussion about being accused of things you haven't done?

        3. Anonymous Coward


          See, now that's not true (as far as I know).

          But if I put it in the local paper I could get chins wagging and you'd potentially get some compensation from either me or the local paper.

          In a national newsrag, more compensation- BUT you'd now probably fail an eCRB check at this point as it allows "soft evidence" and a story in one of the big redtops would almost certainly count as this. You'd get stuff thrown at you in the street, shunned by friends, attacked by rampaging mobs of angry daily mail reading mothers, that sort of thing.

          If I'd done that and ruined your life I might even get 6 months in prison. You'd spend the rest of your life telling people that you didn't do it and they couldn't prove it because there wasn't evidence. You might even get some compensation-digger claiming that you _had_ molested her kids and end up being convicted thanks to made-up evidence and a huge weight of public opinion.


          If the News could report that a man had been arrested in $area of $town for abusing kids but not say _who_ (or even what street), and if there were huge fines for people who leaked links between who and what crime, if found innocent you'd stand a chance of walking out of that courtroom with a reputation no more besmirched than if you'd been contesting a parking fine.

          If you were legally convicted of the offence it would be a matter of public record and the press could report on it freely.

          Even the details of it wouldn't have to change when the press were reporting on it- eyewitnesses say a girl resembling the 8yo "victim" was seen leaving the "suspect"'s house rather than "eyewitnesses say a girl resembling 8yo Becky was seen leaving Mad Dave's house".

          So you're not curtailing freedom of the press- they still report the crime (and if it's someone famous who's in the limelight they could even have more freedom as they don't need to worry about libel suits)

          You're not curtailing the right to express opinion- you're just stopping it getting into the courtroom. Opinion doesn't matter, the facts do.

          But you ARE respecting individual liberty and helping keep justice substantially more just.

          And "If you don't like people knowing your business, then don't do what you are doing"?! That's just daft. I don't want people knowing the specifics of what I do at work because sometimes we screw up and have to fix it- it's embarrassing. Maybe I work in the oil industry and don't want my local aggressive greenie group finding out, or work as a computer tech guy and don't want my technically-illiterate neighbours finding out and hounding me for tech support. How about security grounds- If you knew what I did, you could find out a lot more about me and this could help with social engineering attacks on myself or my employers.

          Or maybe I'm just a fan of the right to privacy and don't want some nosey fucker knowing everything about me.

          1. Mad Dave

            If I wished to

            And If I were of a mind to, I could apply for a court order to establish your identity.

            You have made a statement, "MAD DAVE IS A PAEDOPHILE", as is evidenced by the Title of your post.

            It would be reasonable to expect that on a specialist interest website, such as this, that my own personal details would be associated with my username, thereby creating a link between my username, and my person. By making a statement against my username, you create a statement about myself.

            By stating "MAD DAVE IS A PAEDOPHILE", you may cause myself to suffer losses (It's known as 'tort', you should check it out one time), for which you would be directly responsible.

            You should maybe think before you post.

            It could save you, and Mr Birtles a lot of money.

        4. Adam Salisbury


          So what exactly would you suggest one does when you haven't done something but someone still says you have???

          *Ring* *Ring* *Ring*'s the cluephone for you.........

      2. PerfectBlue

        It's only libel if it's not true.

        Legally speaking, it's only libel if it's not true. Otherwise it's protected speech with the full weight of the constitution behind it.

        I haven't actually read what was written about her so I can only speak in general terms, but if she actually was in a low budget independent movie, and she actaully did what they are saying that she did, then it's not libel. It's free speech.

        She would also probably have to prove that they impuned her character and caused her damage by doing so. This can be quite hard to prove. For example, if a person takes a part in a low budget adult movie as a student, and that movie is sold with their knowledge and consent, then they cannot sue if this information is posted on a website later on when that person is high profile lawyer or something as they actually did what they were said to have done.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Libel and Slander

        Usually I'm all about the libel and slander angle... but since when did the comments section of YouTube become a reputable source of information? Anyone who takes those comment as fact fails the "reasonable man" test.

        I think part of libel and slander is that the source has to be believable. If the newspaper prints it, it can defame your character. If one person posts it on YouTube... well... you'll have some idiots possibly believing other idiots.

      4. Chris Hatfield

        vagina depth

        I wish papers would stop reporting this.

  2. Chris Hatfield

    Well, this is going to go down well with the trolls

    How long before the likes of E Dramatica and 4chan irreversably link 'Carla Franklin' to 'whore'?

    Carla could learn a less or two from Liskula Cohen (the Streisand Effect)

    Way to go to feed the trolls, Carla!

  3. Mark 65 Silver badge

    In other news

    "Someone also posted clips on YouTube that showed her in a small-budget independent movie."

    Don't want people seeing it, then don't film it for distribution. Small-budget independent movie sounds like porn.

    1. Douglas Lowe

      From the NYDailyNews article:

      "Franklin, who graduated from Duke in 1999 with degrees in biology and psychology, appeared in several YouTube videos put up by Columbia Business School that show her traveling to Africa and offering advice to incoming MBA students."

      Doesn't particularly sound like porn to me, unless Columbia Business School are having to branch out in these hard economic times.

    2. Random_Walk
      Paris Hilton

      URL or it didn't happen.

      ...and if you have to ask ab't the Paris angle, then no explanation will suffice.

    3. PerfectBlue


      So, is she suing for libel/slander, or for copyright infringement?

  4. Lord Zedd

    What names?

    You mean people have to provide their actual name to create a YouTube account?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      If it's anything like signing up to GMail these days then you have to verify yourself by putting in your mobile number so they can send you a text.

    2. PerfectBlue


      In some countries you do. Korea brought in a law a few years back forbidding anonymous post in order to stop people from anonymously critisizing politicians after some people posted comments on a website saying that .

      For this reason some companies refuse to accept web postings from Korea. Korean users must select a different country of origin in order to be able to upload content.

  5. LinkOfHyrule

    Speaking of names

    Speaking of names, I suggest that it is a good idea NOT to use your real name or your usual stage name if doing "independent" films of a certain nature.

    1. Tigra 07

      Pornstar name

      Always use your porn star name to hide behind online.

      It's your favourite colour and your first pet's name.

      So from now on i'll be the Pink Nipper (don't confuse me with picnicker, pinknickers or pink kipper)

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @catch 22

    Although you are mostly right, let us not forget that you and I are not slandered on Youtube because we do not court it through "being a former model and actress ".

    Privacy is a laudable desire but there has to be some recognition that if you try to make money from fame you have to accept some of the costs.

  7. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    One thing is for sure

    There are now dozens of videos entitled "Carla Franklin is sues Google".

    One of them is only more than 2 minutes of a blurry still shot (a man and a woman on a beach, could be any couple) - I did not listen to the audio but it doesn't matter really since, if there is no positive identification of the individual, the words cannot be linked to the person.

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Stef 4


      With an imagination like that, you should be a science fiction writer.

      Let's hope that once you sell a few copies, no one spreads malicious unprovable rumors about you, and then more people claim it is because you have "alot of money and was spoilt by mommy and daddy doesnt make her any more important than me or you, she probably expressed herself in a way that offended someone in some way and the so called bullies weren't happy, all the so called bullies are doing is..... expressing themselves to her in there way and now she doesnt like it."

      "Thats the good thing about the internet we are all entitled to our opinions if she doesnt like it then well shes going to have to sue all of us!"

      Yeah, I think you are confusing "opinion" with "making up bullshit".

      e.g. it is my "opinion" that you are an idiot. And I am entitled to that opinion as you correctly say. However I do not go around posting videos of you on Youtube and making bullshit claims about your sex life, sexual preferences, how many children you have murdered, and all the charity money that you have stolen.

      If you really fail to understand the difference, I suggest you seek professional help.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Mike Moyle

          Do you get all your exercise jumping to conclusions...?

          Check the AC 17:33 post below:

          Carla Franklin -- acted in one short indie comedy, otherwise costume designer and make-up artist for the same indie producer.

          So where did you get your evidence that she "has all the money in the world and normally treats everyone else like rubbish"?

          You're an idiot.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Noone deserves to be bullied. It's non-negotiable, there is no excuse.

  9. Anonymous Coward



    Did you even read the article or did she do something to you personally once, like refuse to sleep with you or something?

  10. JohnG

    Free speech, libel, etc.

    Once the name of the individual behind the 3 online identities is revealed, they will probably have the opportunity to argue in court that their comments were free speech and not libel. If they have tried to remain anonymous and pretended to be three different people, I guess their credibility will be called into question.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Am I the only one

    to say PlayMobil, or it didn't happen?

  12. JaitcH

    Who keeps logs, for long, they are a pain

    My employer runs around 20 or so web sites, some of which have chat rooms. For legal reasons chat rooms are best hosted in the U.S. as they have very liberal laws governing web sites.

    Our logs have a life time of fourteen days at which time, unless archived for specific technical reasons, they fade to black.

    One of our servers is in a country where log retention is required so the traffic is routed through a jurisdiction where logging is not required.

    This bullet proofs us for all requests, however presented. If the U.S. pulled a Patriot Act our response would be a single line - the proxy to which it is connected. Most users employ fake names and temporary verification e-mail addresses which makes most of this logging pointless.

    Just make sure your hosts don't run logs for your web sites!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    IMDB lists one film with a "Carla Franklin" as an actress: "And the Award Goes To" (, a six-minute comedy short that is apparently semi-autobiographical on the part of the director/co-writer and has sexual aspects to it, but no rating listed, and no indication as to who did what with which and to whom (or whether anybody actually did anything to anyone, at all).

    Other than that, she's listed as a make-up artist and costume designer on a few other films, mostly by the same production company.

    If this is the "small-budget independent movie" and the "Carla Franklin" in question then I'm not seeing BoB91210's "gods gift to the human race (...) model has alot of money and was spoilt by mommy and daddy".

    On the other hand, I suppose I *DO* have to agree with Bob when he says "Thats the good thing about the internet we are all entitled to our opinions..."

    In my opinion, Bob's a tool -- just not a very USEFUL tool.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    All women are whores?

    Can Carla Franklin actually prove that she's not a whore? I'd be willing to bet she's had sex with someone who bought her dinner and/or a drink beforehand

    Anonymous of course </sarcasm>

    Seriously, why is this lady - or us for that matter - getting bent out of shape about anonymous comments on Youtube? The comments section there is creepily similar to the discussions in 4chan/SA/ebaums. Furthermore, if she doesn't own the movie that was posted "without her permission" on Youtube who gives a damn? In the US if your likeness is not being used to sell something, and you don't own the record of your likeness (be it video, photo, or courtroom sketch) you can't say a damn thing legally about what someone else does with it.

    This poor lady is just suffering a case of "ZOMG my name is attached to sketchy things on the interwebz" syndrome. Trying to correct this will only make matters worse - no sense in trying to boil the ocean

  15. Chris Hatfield

    What is the nasty cyber bullies used an open wireless network?

    If this is the case, what can the cyber police do? Karla will have gained nothing, and still become notorious for being called a 'whore' (which she is not)

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