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16 B.U. Pub. Int. L.J. 255 (2006-2007)
Bloggers as Public Figures

handle is hein.journals/bupi16 and id is 259 raw text is: BLOGGERS AS PUBLIC FIGURES

An increasing number of commentators have proclaimed a blogging
revolution' which they purport is changing not only journalism,2 but also politics,'
business,4 academia,5 and other aspects of everyday life.    Blogging, these
commentators argue, is a unique medium that requires a host of non-traditional
legal protections in order to survive.6 Activists behind the revolution distinguish
blogs from both traditional news organizations, such as magazines and
newspapers, and online web magazines.      Such individuals state that, unlike
mainstream news services, blogs are highly personal in nature' and usually lack a
. J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School; M.Bioethics, University of Pennsylvania
School of Medicine; A.L.M. in Government, expected 2008, Harvard University; M.A. in
Sociology, Queens College; B.S., Comell University. I would like to thank Gideon
Parchomovsky, Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School.
' See Andrew Sullivan, The Blogging Revolution, WIRED, May 2002, available at
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/lO.05/mustread.html?pg=2 (identifying the qualities
that distinguish blogs from newspapers, magazines, and Web magazines).
2 See  Victor  Keegan, Blogging   On,   THE  GUARDIAN,    Sept. 22,  2004,
http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1309708,00.html (Blogs have battened
off newspapers and many newspapers, including the Guardian, have launched their own
3 See David Kline, BlogRevolt, http://web.archive.org/web/20051013073921/http://
www.blogrevolt.com/archives/2005/10/thefutureof p.htm (Oct. 6, 2005, 10:42 EST)
(Blogs are to politics today what TV was to the Nixon-Kennedy campaign of 1960.).
4 See, e.g., Shankar Gupta, Dell Computer to Respond to Bloggers' Complaints, ONLINE
MEDIA DAILY, Aug. 23, 2005, http://publications.mediapost.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=
Articles.showArticleHomePage&art aid=33396 ([Dell's] public relations department
monitors blogs, looking for commentaries and complaints-and, starting about a month ago,
began forwarding complaints with personally identifiable information to the customer
service department so that representatives can contact dissatisfied consumers directly .....
' See Posting of Douglas Berman to PrawfsBlawg, http://prawfsblawg.blogs.com/
prawfsblawg/2005/08/howmight weim.html (Aug. 1, 2005, 13:47) (discussing how blogs
can be used as an academic medium). But see Leigh Jones, Blogging Law Profs Assault
Ivory   Tower,   NAT'L   L.J.,  Feb.   27,   2006,    at   1,  available  at
http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNL.jsp?id=l 140775513856 ('[Blogs] have nothing
to do with scholarship,' said Katherine Litvak, a professor at the University of Texas School
of Law.).
6 See discussion infra Part III.C.
7 See, e.g., Sullivan, supra note 1.
8 See, e.g., Ann Althouse, Why a Narrowly Defined Legal Scholarship Blog is Not What I

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