EXPERTS IN THE NEWS: Porn, Hate, Guns, Dirty Words, Racism, and Impeachment


How Two Marines Helped Bring Down Revenge Porn on Facebook I Rolling Stone

But Mary Anne Franks, a legislative and tech policy director at the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, says she thinks Facebook still needs to be more proactive. She believes the secret to preventing non-consensual pornography is keeping it from being uploaded in the first place – when the most damage is done. As soon as nude images are posted online, the shaming begins, and the photos can spread easily across various platforms.

"[The new policy] is a huge step in the right direction. But I think it is only one part of the solution," Franks says. "If you really wanted to make sure that content like this didn’t have a harmful impact, you’d have to go one step further and make sure it didn’t get uploaded the first time. Because the problem with all of these measures is you have to rely on the victims themselves or someone who might be looking out for the victims to report this content."

A Court Order to Terminate Hate Speech Tests Facebook I Wired

In the Austrian case, Facebook won’t have to decide what constitutes hate speech. “Since this ruling only applies to the exact posts, it shouldn’t be technically difficult for Facebook to remove them automatically,” says Mary Anne Franks, a University of Miami law professor and vice president of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative. (Facebook said it is still evaluating the ruling.) But the issue could get stickier if other countries see the Austrian ruling as a precedent to seek the complete eradication of offending posts.

Florida’s Expanded ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law Has Prosecutors Sounding the Alarm I The Trace

“It’s essentially stacking the deck repeatedly in favor of people shooting other people,” said Mary Anne Franks, a law professor at the University of Miami.

The new bill requires the prosecution to do significantly more in order to simply bring a case to trial. Under the legislation, defendants would be tasked with providing “prima facie” evidence— a term that ultimately means “some”— showing that a “stand your ground” claim could be valid. The requirement can be satisfied through testimony given by the defendant, who might explain his or her state of mind at the time of the incident. Witness testimony or video footage would also suffice as evidence.

Once a judge agrees that a defendant has produced the required evidence, the burden shifts to, and remains with, the prosecution.

“It’s very difficult to get in someone’s head and prove what they were or weren’t thinking,” said Tamara Lave, a legal expert who has studied “stand your ground.”

Why Stephen Colbert Won’t End the FFC’s Freaking Ban on ‘7 Dirty Words’ I The Wrap

University of Miami Law School professor Lili Levi agreed that the current Supreme Court remains unwilling to toss out the FFC’s censorship rules on constitutional grounds.

“The Supreme Court is not interested in reversing Pacifica,” said Levi, referring to the 1978 Supreme Court decision, FCC v. Pacifica Foundation, in which the court rejected a First Amendment challenge to the FCC’s indecency rules. It rules that the FCC had the right to sanction a Boston radio station for airing comedian George Carlin’s mid-afternoon satirical monologue using the seven words banned by the FCC.

Will Fort Myers ever clean up its junk? I Fort Myers News-Press

Have Fort Myers’ zoning and land use policies segregated junky operation in the minority part of town?

If so, “that raises very serious questions of federal and state civil rights law,” said Professor Tony Alfieri, who heads the University of Miami School of Law Environmental Justice Clinic.

“A policy or practice that discriminates on the basis of its disparate impact or effect many very well violate the constitutional rights of the residents in that community,” Alfieri explained.

Mother of child who was kidnapped said she asked for Amber Alert I Fort Myers News-Press

The Amber Alert is an imperfect system implemented by imperfect people, said Tamara Lave, a University of Miami professor and expert in criminal law and procedure.

It’s important to send out an alert, she said, but at the same time officers need to be careful not to saturate people’s phones with emergency messages because they will stop listening.

But, Lave said, that the child’s age in Tuesday’s kidnapping should have been “a tremendous thing to pay attention to.”

Hidden Cameras and Zoom Lenses: Meet The Voyeur Pornographers I vocativ

“It’s one of the reasons we always try to emphasize that the term ‘revenge porn’ is a misnomer — it creates the false impression that victims and perpetrators are always intimately involved and that the private photos or videos are always originally consensually shared,” said Mary Anne Franks, a professor of law at University of Miami. “In many of the cases we see, either one or both of these is not the case.”

The Latest In The Fight Against Revenge Porn I Law360

Civil actions are also being pursued by victims of revenge porn. In states where it is not criminalized there is no other choice and in states where it is criminalized certainly victims can pursue both civil and criminal penalties. Verdicts have been returned in favor of plaintiffs — one even as high as $500,000 — but they are difficult to collect on and the nature of the harm caused by the nonconsensual distribution of these intimate images is so damaging, so pervasive that having only a civil remedy for this wrong is unsatisfactory to many victims. Professor Mary Anne Franks of the University of Miami, who authored the first model criminal statute on revenge porn, has said, “Our push for criminalization has been to recognize that the harm is so severe, so immediate and sometimes so impossible to undo, that it warrants criminal penalties.” She adds that “Civil remedies sometimes help some victims, but the question is whether that's enough, and I think the answer is no.”


Rep. Frederica Wilson” President Trump ‘On The Brink Of Impeachment I CBSMiami

Caroline Mala Corbin teaches constitutional law at the University of Miami.

“I think the question on many people’s minds is this grounds for impeachment?”

She said impeachment would center on obstruction of justice.

She said that would amount to answering whether the president meddled or interfered in any kind of official investigation or proceeding.

“If there was an attempt to stop an investigation, that would certainly count as obstruction of justice,” she said.

CONTACT: Catharine Skipp at 305-284-9810 or