Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Overheard on CNN.com: Parents of murder victim suing Facebook

 

Comment of the day: “I extend my sympathies to the family on their loss. However, suing everyone will not bring her back.” --woogiesmom

 

Picture of murder victim posted on Facebook

 

The parents of a murdered woman whose picture was taken by an EMT and then posted on Facebook are suing the social media site in an effort to compel the company to turn over the image. The parents are also suing their daughter's convicted murderer, the paramedic, the city of New York and Greenleaf Arms Inc., the company that owns the apartment building where the victim’s body was found.

 

What did CNN.com readers think of their pending litigation?

 

comet1442 said, “What happened to their daughter is sad but the only person at fault here is the EMT. The city of New York has no control over him posting the photos and Facebook doesn't either. Facebook should cooperate with getting the picture of off the website but besides that all those lawsuits are overkill.” cryofpaine said, “I realize that this is a horrible tragedy, and that they are looking for some ounce of justice after what happened. However, they're getting a bit sue-crazy with this.” TamoK said, “The pictures were taken down by Facebook as soon as they were made aware of them. Suing FB for this is like suing the owner of a building that someone has put graffiti on it.”

 

But Really2009 said, “It's grief. They will lose almost every lawsuit, but this is their version of ‘freaking out.’ They'll learn by losing all of their money in filing these lawsuits that they cannot win, but it's just a different version of Grief.” drwelby said, “They're in mourning, they lost their daughter. There's a wide spectrum of behavior by people in their situation - many of which may or may not look rational to those on the outside looking in. They're probably feeling very powerless in the loss of their daughter, and this lawsuit is helping them feel as though they're doing something about it. Think about that.”

 

And in regards to the issue of privacy and posting photos on Facebook, CNN.com readers were torn. Really2009 said, “I agree; the lawsuits are pointless. However, they are bringing up a subject that really needs to be discussed: Regulating the posting of photos on the internet. If I fall in public and there are 50 people around to see it, those 50 people should have a funny story, but they shouldn't be able to show it to 50,000,000 people.” And sallysueb said, “That's the problem with photos on Facebook. There are no copyright protections like on other sites like Flickr. When you post a photo on Facebook, Facebook itself owns that photo and can do anything they want with it. And anyone that you have given access to that photo, i.e. friends, can also do anything they want to with it (sell it to a newspaper, re-post it, etc.) and there is absolutely nothing illegal about it.”

 

But wrkn4thwkend responsed, “@really - I see your point but welcome to the age of social media. There is no stopping it now.” And Patriot16 said, “Inasmuch as you don't want your picture disseminated all over the web, the photographer has every right to do so if taken in a public place. And in this situation, the EMT had absolutely no right to take her picture in the first place.”  Maverick2591 said, “I am a retired paramedic and am ashamed that one of my brethren would do such a (lets face it) STUPID thing! Never in all my years of public service would I ever think to take a picture of a victim, let alone post it on any sort of forum.”

 

When Alzheimer’s turns violent

 

Taking care of a loved ones or patients who are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease can be especially difficult if they are among the 5% to 10% who are prone to violence. In this story, iReporters share tips about staying calm and patient, and finding support groups. CNN.com readers shared their views, too.

 

2a96 said, “I was in the same situation with my mom and my solution was to provide the same unselfish love she gave me and my family, my siblings and strangers throughout her life and to think about the patience shown to me as I went through stages of maturing. I only held her as gently as necessary when she was attempting to be violent or accusing me of things I knew were due to her mental state.”

 

Guest said, “My father was one of the patients who became violent. I was petrified to be with him. I had no other family to lean on. I was VERY fortunate to find an amazing facility that took wonderful care of him and treated him with the utmost dignity ... right up until his death.”

 

5thApe said, “After my dad could not longer look after my mom and we got her into long- term care she had several episodes where she got into fights with other patients. Alzheimer's is the most wicked of all diseases. Give me anything but this …” And di56 said, “This is such a cruel disease. My heart goes out to the people and their families. Caregivers give yourselves a break once in a while, you deserve it and it will relieve some of the tension.”

 

Charlie’s truth tour not a sell out

 

There are still tickets available for Charlie Sheen's Violent Torpedo of Truth tour, with more than 1,250 seats available on Stubhub.com for Saturday's show at Detroit's Fox Theatre. But by the traditional definition, Sheen has sold out a few venues.

 

CNN.com readers who posted comments about the availability seemed much less amused by the actor than they did a few weeks ago.  Danoman said, “Do you think he will actually go through with it? Or stand up there for 5 minutes and then say ‘see ya.’ ” starryskye said, “Anyone who buys tickets to Charlie's delusional rants is an active participant in enabling his disease.” Jrodca said, “The rantings of a drug addict for how much? You know you can all walk into any AA or NA meeting and hear the rantings of addicts for free.” RMRCal said, “Good, I hope the tour tanks.” And Claudius1066 said, “Shame. I had rather hoped the place would be empty. Only morons would attend.”

 

jessejune said, “This was a train wreck waiting to happen from day one and anyone that signed one for this was trying to make a fast buck off a man with a serious problem ... and I don't mean bad ticket sales!” Twosocks42 said, “Been sensationalizing a man with a mental illness. Perhaps people are finally coming to their senses. That, or they realize it is just as easy to listen to a man high on multiple substances talk about his tiger blood on You Tube as it is to watch him do it on a stage; difference being, one costs far less.”

 

Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video

 

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

12 Comments
March 30, 2011
Click to view sjm2007's profile

I am sorry but I have to stand up for freedom of speech in this case, yes it is sad but the only person who has done anything wrong is the murder. Morally I would have never posted such a picture speaking for my own morales, but, in this case I don't see the EMT doing anything wrong, he or she see's this every day in his or her line of work, maybe this was a way for him or her to vent their own emotions that have been bottled up from seeing so much tragedy. Just imagine seeing people you are trying to save die everyday or seeing lifeless victims body's every day like this. The EMT need to express that pain somehow and needed to know that he or she could share what ever it is that is going through their mind and have people confirm that feeling of grief. ["Maybe the EMT was expressing their own grief in a way"]

March 30, 2011
Click to view logicaljuan's profile

Privacy is important and should be respected. Freedom of anything should not cause harm. Freedom of speech shouldn't be a protective veil for things we know are wrong. I guess the world is doomed because no moral compass exists, no value system is sacred. On our way back to sodam and gommorah - thankfully, the Lord Jesus Christ will be there to save us.....again

March 30, 2011
Click to view childofkarma's profile

Are there laws that prevent the media from publishing photos of crime/accident scene's showing the victims? I know at one time it wasn't that uncommon to see such things in papers (example: look at the historical photos from the Triangle Fire with the bodies strewn about the sidewalk and people standing among them) but I'm fairly sure that is a major reason why you don't ever see any bodies any more - because the media doesn't want to get sued by the familes. Trashed cars yes. Home gutted by fire of course but you never see the bodies. I have fire fighter and emt friends who occasionally will post photos from an accident or fire on facebook but always after the victims have been removed and are not in the shot. I honestly don't know what that person was thinking posting a corpse on there, especially if it was done in a way it would be identifiable.

March 30, 2011
Click to view nodeploy's profile

yes it is sad, but in a wierd way they should be thankful because now the world know about her. and her story will be told. how many people get murderd and are forgotten....

March 30, 2011
Click to view Ematicic's profile

It is a shame people need to tread lightly. The Supreme Court did just order a grieving parent to pay big money to that religious organization that picketed the funeral with the "God Hates Fags signs". As sick as it makes me to know free speech trumps privacy rights to that extreme, people need to watch for that counter-suit.

March 31, 2011
Click to view YeomanDroid's profile

It really comes down to the sorry ethics we have today in the field of emergency response with certain persons who have no sense of empathy or compassion for anybody but to get their thrills off of posting a tragic situation on the Internet or Facebook. What was the purpose of this? Why was an EMT taking pictures of a deceased person anyway? It really should be the policy of his employer that pictures taken of victims at crime scenes be prohibited or face termination. I think the family has every right to sue the EMT for defamation among many other things. Disrespect is an ugly thing, that is why the victim was murdered and the EMT only furthered that cause of sensationalism so loved by murderers and the media as well the sick-minded public. It's a sad world.

March 31, 2011
Click to view YeomanDroid's profile

Furthermore, let me ask you people who are clueless about the real meaning of Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press, etc. If your 18 year old daughter is murdered and a I decided to take pictures and then post her photos on Facebook or other social media sites for exploitation, would you be offended? Would you want to sue me? Stop the disrespect!!!

March 31, 2011
Click to view nozefurnoose's profile

Okay, I am factoring everything else out and looking at the EMT'S motive for taking a picture of a dead girl? And then posting that photo on Facebook? Someone commented that that was the way the EMT expressed his or her grief. Maybe I have ice water running through my veins, but if I were an EMT, I would do my job. I know that because I am conscientious and try to be competent and efficient. Taking a photograph of a dead person is not, I don't think part of the job description of an EMT and then posting it on Facebook without the family's permission? That doesn't sound right and no, I can't believe this is a job duty of an EMT and they get paid by the company who employs him or her for taking dead peoples' photos and posting them to Facebook. In fact, I believe the EMT should be taken to task for this. I am not a fan of firing people and I believe the EMT should be given a second chance. But, this is just not done by a nonfamily member. Whether or not the parents should sue anyone is between them and their morality profile. The parents are probably in PTSD right now.

March 31, 2011
Click to view YeomanDroid's profile

@nodeploy

 

I don't think the family wants her to remembered that way and embroiled in such litigation. A murdered child is not something you exploit for advertisement so the whole world hears about it. I am on the side of the family just based on the few details I know because it's just plain sick to think that well known organizations would allow such postings on their websites. Constitutional Rights are not applicable to private organizations in terms of what they must allow posters to do, they have the right to refuse photographs, block comments, etc. I think it's just downright wrong they allowed it and everybody is getting mad at the family for what they are dealing with. Very wrong.

March 31, 2011
Click to view YeomanDroid's profile

@nozefurnoose

 

I'm glad some people see the issue here and understand why in the world an EMT is taking photographs of the deceased. In many ways, it's beyond just morbid. Apparently the EMT has no conscience and for all we know really could be the pyschopath himself. If anybody gets a kick off of anguish and turmoil of others, they need to get help or locked up in looney bin. I don't how this idiot got past the psychological screening, but shame on the agency/organization if they are doing nothing about it. If there's no company or agency policy against EMTs taking photos of a crime scene and releasing that kind of information publicly, then shame on them. I'm for the family taking action because I would be enraged over what happened. What normal person and family wouldn't be?

March 31, 2011
Click to view YeomanDroid's profile

Shame on you CNN for your Comment of the Day about this sad ordeal. I think there are far more sensible comments than a simpleton one from poster woogiesmom. The family knows that litigation is not going bring their daughter back. It just doesn't take a moron to figure that out, except to post it. I can think of a lot more sensible and realistic Comment of the Day than that one. Very insensitive to what that poor family is having to endure. Shame on CNN for not having better moderation.

March 31, 2011
Click to view mominmryland's profile

Just want to let you know in regard to that I am a t party middle AMERICA mom and grand mom.  Not an extremeist, nor biggot, not hate monger.  In fact, I love everyone, my son is going with someone of another race, etc.  But I love America and do not want our government to go further in debt.  That is why this former Democrat will vote Republican even if they don't make all the cuts now.

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