East County News Service
Photo: Creative Commons by S.A.
In landmark decision, court rules that hateful online trolling can constitute interference with the equal enjoyment of public accommodations
August 9, 2019 (Washington D.C.) -- Today the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that white supremacists who used social media to threaten and harass the first African American female student body president of American University were liable for over $700,000 in damages and attorneys’ fees.
“This ruling is historic in that it marks the first time that a court has deemed racist online trolling activity that can interfere with one’s equal access to a public accommodation. The Court’s ruling recognizes the real-world damage done when bigots take to the internet to target and threaten African Americans and other people of color,” said Kristen Clarke, President and Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “This ruling should send a strong message to other white supremacists that they can and will be held accountable for hateful activity that constitutes unlawful discrimination, no matter whether it occurs online or in the real world.”