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Pseudonymous Speech and Message Board "Acting" and the AutoAdmit Case

A fascinating post on Big Law Board:

Isn’t it obvious, from all we’ve seen throughout the years on various message boards, that monikers are mainly acting names behind which someone hides in order to provide entertainment value for the owner of the moniker and/or others?

Now, I don’t condone the googlebombing and outing of the female Does in the XOXO case, and I think they will get what’s coming to them for causing damage to REAL law students, but I believe some of them just made some stupid comments, not directed at any one person, all in the name of acting and entertainment.

If Brad Pitt starred in a movie, playing a role as a racist asshole, that’s fine. What’s the difference? Teh interwebz should allow for acting without the formal title of “actor.” (source)

This seems like a valid point. As the court noted in Reno v. ACLU:

Through the use of chat rooms, any person with a phone line can become a town crier with a voice that resonates farther than it could from any soapbox. Through the use of Web pages, mail exploders, and newsgroups, the same individual can become a pamphleteer. As the District Court found, “the content on the Internet is as diverse as human thought.

If that is the case, then why can’t everyone also be an actor? I follow a few chat boards, and I do enjoy waiting for the next hilarious post by “Creepy Old Guy” or “Pale Blue Dot,” and I am certain that the real-life people behind these monikers are nothing like their online personas. And, I don’t expect them to be.

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