Essay on Summary: The New Yorker and Los Angeles Times

Submitted By MeyhemKat
Words: 400
Pages: 2

Summary of “Douse the Online Flamers” In “Douse the Online Flamers,” an essay that originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times on March 1, 2008, Andrew Keen starts his argument with the knowledge of the cartoon “On the internet, no one knows you’re a dog,” which was also posted in The New Yorker. Keen then explains that in the cartoon’s time, the internet’s anonymousness was “innocent”, but today, it has been turned into something to hide behind in order to hurt and to use against other people. Although the First Amendment protects the privilege of being anonymous on the internet, the author believes that it can be very dangerous and that the rules need to be altered to help protect everyone. He uses the example of Megan Meier, a thirteen year old girl from St. Louis. In 2006, an older woman from her neighborhood portrayed herself as a boy Meier’s age on the internet and eventually drove Meier to hang herself by telling her “the world was better off without her.” According to Keen, federal prosecutors from Los Angeles tried to find the woman guilty for fraud, but she was never accused of anything illegal. In Keen’s second example, a couple of Yale Law School women’s reputations where slandered through the use of the anonymity offered on an internet site called AutoAdmit. When the women tried to find out the real names of their internet defamers, the court ruled in favor of the maligners, saying they had protection under the First Amendment to openly speak their