Gossip blog TheDirty.com under fire for nasty comments
A Vancouver Island woman wants the website TheDirty.com shutdown after it published insulting claims about her along with photographs.
Twenty-three-year-old Tiffany Sutton discovered an anonymous post written about her on the blog about a week ago that contained comments she says are offensive, abusive and untrue. She now worries about the harm that may have been done to her reputation as a youth care worker.
"That's all I need is a youth that I'm working with to Google my name and see all these allegations that aren't true and believe them," she said.
Ari Golden, one of the founders of The Dirty.Com, told CTV News the rude commentary is part of the premise of the website.
"It's a platform that allows individuals to post funny, interesting, controversial information about other people," he said.
Kristina Jensen disagrees with the website's goals. She unsuccessfully attempted to have it closed down after finding a post published about her last year.
"It promotes harassment, racism, womanizing. It's terrible," Jensen said.
Although what's published on TheDirty.com may be cruel and false, that doesn't mean there is a legal case against it.
"I've had dozens of clients come to me seeking help with respect to The Dirty," lawyer Alan McConchie said.
"You may just have to deal with it, but you know it doesn't prevent someone from writing and saying, 'Hey look, please take this down. I find this highly insulting' and sometimes they respond."
Internet advocate Lindsey Pinto of OpenMedia.ca believes there isn't a moral case for shutting down the website either.
"Really it's a matter of balancing our rights to free speech with our civil liberties, and this doesn't seem like a case where it's truly impinging on civil liberties," Pinto said.
But Sutton thinks TheDirty.com could cause harm to others and wants to do something about it.
"We've decided that we want to turn this negative experience into something positive and hopefully eventually implement some type of program where we can go into schools and educate people on cyber bullying and the effects of it."
With a repot from CTV British Columbia's Shaheed Devji