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The Smoking Gun:

 APRIL 30–The web’s leading gossip outlet, TMZ.com, today published the name and photo of a 14-year-old boy whom the site reported has allegedly been the victim of a sex crime.

How far does freedom of the press go in naming victims? There’s a longstanding custom among journalists not to print the names of rape victims, but it’s not a law. Is naming underage victims of sex crimes protected speech, if the crime is newsworthy?

Seattle Times news story:

“That we hurry to castigate a person who turns out to be entirely innocent … I don’t know how it could be worse,” said King County District Court Judge Peter Nault, saying the incident will make it harder for real sexual victims to bring their cases forward.

Nault accepted a guilty plea from Katherine M. Clifton, accused of making false statements to a public servant.

Those statements led to the rape charge last summer against the professor who subsequently spent nine days in jail and was placed on leave from his job.

Make rape, physical violence, and even non-gun-related death threats all you want online with virtually no consequence—but when it comes to school shootings, law enforcement thinks the ‘Net is serious business. A student at Colgate University has been arrested and charged this week with aggravated harassment after he made a post on Juicy Campus, a site that serves as a public forum for students to anonymously gossip about others.

“I wonder if i could shut down the school by saying I’m going to shoot as many people as i can in my second class tomorrow. I hope I get more than 50,” 20-year-old George So wrote on Juicy Campus.

 (Ars Technica)