458Zeran+V+AOL - Comm 458 Zeran V. America Online, Inc....

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Comm 458 Zeran V. America Online, Inc. (1997) Facts: On April 25, 1995, an unidentified person posted a message on an AOL bulletin board advertising “Naughty Oklahoma T-Shirts.” The postings described the sale of shirts featuring offensive and tasteless slogans related to the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Those interested in purchasing the shirts were instructed to call “Ken” at Zeran’s home phone number in Seattle, WA. Zeran received a high volume of calls, comprised primarily of angry and derogatory messages, but also including death threats. Zeran was unable to change his phone number because he relied on its availability to the public in running his business out of his home. Later that day Zeran called AOL and informed a company representative of his predicament. The employee assured Zeran that the posting would be removed from AOL’s bulletin board but explained that as a matter of policy. AOL would not post a retraction. Over the
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458Zeran+V+AOL - Comm 458 Zeran V. America Online, Inc....

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