Liskula Cohen: A "Model" Hero in Google Lawsuit Win

Next time some loser decides to commit an online hatchet job, the image of Liskula Cohen may appear to them and maybe they'll think better before clicking the "post" button.

The Vogue model's lawsuit win, in which she sought the identity of an anonymous blogger who called her a "skank" and "ho" on a blog dedicated to such misogyny, ought to be a warning to those, especially, who make their money by tearing down others and the troubled souls to whom they cater.

Two photos of Cohen and an unidentified man in sexually suggestive, though fully-clothed, poses were posted to the "Skanks of NYC" blog, hosted by Google's Blogger.com. The captions below described Cohen as the "Skankiest in NYC" and a "psychotic, lying, whoring ... skank."

Cohen told ABC News today that the culprit turned out to be a woman she vaguely knew, not someone close to her as she had feared.

"Thank God it was her… she's an irrelevant person in my life," Cohen told Good Morning America. "She's just somebody that, whenever I would go out to a restaurant, to a party in New York City … she was just that girl that was always there."

When she contacted the woman, Cohen said she apologized if she had done anything to the culprit, whom she said she has forgiven--but still plans to sue for defamation, though she hinted that an apology from the woman could change that.

Cohen, 36, said the five posts had made it more difficult for her to find work since they appeared in August, 2008.

This case reminds us that First Amendment or not, malicious speech is not protected speech.

It should also make Google take a hard look at the kinds of sites its Blogger service is willing to host. A "Skanks of NYC" blog may give jealous people a chance to vent their frustration, but hardly seems to ennoble the human spirit.

Not that a blog is supposed to, but as some point, viciousness for its own sake needs to be curbed and I am thrilled that it was in this case. I hope others will follow Ms. Cohen's lead in standing up for themselves and the online world will become a better neighborhood. It is sad people gravitate to such trash.

David Coursey tweets as @techinciter and can be contacted via his Web site.

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