University of Pittsburgh

David Harris on Posting of Photos of Innocent Men as Boston Marathon "Suspects"

Publish Date/Time: 
April 19, 2013

David Harris commented about internet postings by the New York Post and web sites such as Reddit of photos depicting men in the crowd around the Boston marathon; the men in the photos, whose images were boldly circled, were reported to be people that the authorities wanted to talk to about the bombings.  According to Professor Harris, the pictures of the men in open, public places do not violate any right of privacy.  But portraying them as suspects or persons of interest could constitue defamation.  "This is not about something being private, it's about what is being said about you," he said, and and online speculation fueled by pictures of young men in the red circles could provide grounds for a lawsuit.

See the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article here.

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