Wilson College: Student Internet Expression Under Attack


Wilson College

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Case Overview

FIRE advocated on behalf of Wilson College students who faced university charges of slander, identity theft, and harassment for posting parody materials of a campus administrator on a Myspace.com profile. Five students who were listed as "Myspace friends" with the fabricated profile of the campus administrator denied creating the profile, but were still charged and brought before a series of Joint Honor Council hearings, where they were found "responsible" for Honor Code violations, and were later notified that charges were "pending" while at a second hearing they received after an initial appeal. Administrators also sought a waiver from the five students permitting Myspace to divulge the creator of the account, a request the students refused to honor. FIRE wrote President Lorna Duphiney Edmundson noting the baseless nature of the charges filed against the five students. Wilson College counsel told FIRE that the incident was still under investigation.