Thursday, October 22, 2009

Butler University Sues Anonymous Student Blogger

Jess Zimmerman, a junior at Butler University, is being sued by his school's administration for "libelous and defamatory statements" made about Butler's administration in a blog entitled "TrueBU Blog." The blog was removed earlier this year by Zimmerman. Butler's administration seem to suggest that the alleged crime here is that he was publishing his opinion pieces anonymously as "Soodo Nym." Zimmerman has chronicled his story at "I Am John Doe."

As a non-anonymous blogger who at times questions decisions made by my university, I'm terrified that this sort of thing is happening. Due I suspect to the negative publicity this has generated for Butler, the president of Butler has recently said that they will not sue Jess Zimmerman, but the lawsuit has not been dropped.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If this case troubles you, as it should if you care about first amendment rights, you might want to sign the petition to Butler's administration asking for an apology: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/butler

And please note that the president has said two other things at the same time he announced that he was not going to pursue the lawsuit (that the university still hasn't dropped): He said the university would deal with Jess through the on-campus disciplinary proceedings and he said that Jess was guilty. Sounds like those on-campus disciplinary proceedings, should they actually occur, will be completely fair and above board - right!

8:27 AM  
Blogger Michael Homan said...

Yes, please sign the petition.

9:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have nothing to worry about unless you, like this guy, call someone a "liar," "Immoral," and "unethical." That's defamation, dude.

8:52 PM  
Blogger Michael Homan said...

Pinocchio is a liar.
Caligula is immoral.
Dick Cheney is unethical.
I chose the last one to make sure one of my choices was both real and living. I could just have easily said Cheney is all three. Now sue me.

9:07 PM  
Anonymous Butler-University said...

We have a few college students online from college of Butler-University and we love your blog postings, so well add your rss or news feed for them, Thanks and please post us and leave a comment back and well link to you. Thanks Jen, Blog Manager Butler-University

3:34 AM  
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11:54 PM  

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