Carla Franklin Defeats Google: Court Tells Online Giant to Reveal Who Posted Unwelcome Videos, Comments on YouTube

Carla Franklin (CBS)

NEW YORK (CBS/AP) Carla Franklin has gotten a court to force YouTube and its owner Google to unmask a cyber cipher who posted what she says are unauthorized videos of her and online comments that hurt her reputation.

A Manhattan court ruling issued Tuesday gives Google a couple of weeks to provide Franklin with identity and contact information for whoever posted denigrating comments and unapproved videos of her, beginning last year.

The videos, seen on Google-owned YouTube, were clips from an innocuous student film in which she had appeared years before, coupled with personal information about her to create an unsettling online shrine, she said. Franklin did some modeling and acting before becoming a consultant to nonprofit organizations.

Franklin, who joins a growing number of people who have persuaded courts to unmask troublesome cyber bullies, said Wednesday she hoped her case would help others combat similar problems.

"The Internet cannot become a safe haven for harassers and stalkers," the former actress and model turned businesswoman said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

The comments, made though another YouTube channel, featured a sexual slur and were posted alongside videos she made for Columbia Business School while earning a master's degree there, she said.

The postings were humiliating, creepy and potentially hurtful to Franklin's professional prospects, she and her lawyer have said.

Google Inc. declined to comment. The Mountain View, Calif.-based online giant says it doesn't discuss individual cases to protect users' privacy, but it follows applicable laws.

Franklin said in a blog post of her own this month that she believes she knows who's responsible, but she went to court in the summer to get proof so she could potentially pursue further legal action.

August 18, 2010 - Carla Franklin to Google: Unmask User Trashing Me on YouTube