Monday, August 6, 2007
Is Guiliani's daughter's Face Book page fair game?
Slate has a short piece today on how Guiliani's 17-year-old daughter has a Face Book page which mentioned (until she took it off after being contacted by Slate) that she belonged to a group that supports Obama. Only alums of Trinity high school and Harvard have access to the detailed profile page, and the writer goes to Harvard. Is a 17-year-old's Face Book page fair game? She's not yet an adult, but she may qualify as a public figure. Even 17-year-olds should be aware that what they post on the Internet is available for all to see, though she might have naively trusted in the private network of alumni of two prestigious schools to be quiet and keep her privacy. And she did try to change her name a little bit, as the Slate author states: "In what may be an effort to avoid public connection to her famous father, the future Harvard freshman and recent graduate of Trinity School in Manhattan uses a slight variation of her name on the Facebook site." So was Slate right to run the piece? How much can we conclude about Giuliani the man from the fact that his daughter was momentarily proud of her belonging to the Facebook group "Barack Obama (One Million Strong for Barack)?"