Friday, November 9, 2007
The Wall Street Journal has the story and a link to the amended complaint. It appears the plaintiffs originally thought Mr. Ciolli had posted defamatory and tortious comments under a pseudonym but have now concluded he did not. The complaint has, however, added several new pseudonymous defendants (including one who was using my name!).
Alas, as the WSJ reports, Mr. Ciolli continues to whitewash his involvement in Autoadmit, for obvious reasons. I had the misfortune to be the first grown-up to comment publicly (more than two years ago) on that cesspool of infantile morons, racists, and misogynistic freaks known as Autoadmit, and as a result I heard repeatedly over the years from numerous law students, mostly women, who were viciously vicitmized on that site. Many shared with me their correspondence with Mr. Ciolli, or told me about their futile efforts to get help from the alleged "administrators" of the site, Mr. Ciolli and Jarret Cohen, who often responded with contempt and derision to these requests. What I learned from them is certainly of a piece with what a poster here said in response to the Wall Street Journal article about the law firm rescinding Mr. Ciolli's job offer:
It drives me crazy to hear people trying to defend this guy, Ciolli. It’s not like he was some kind of innocent third party who just opened up a message board and was Shocked, Shocked to discover that the board turned into sexually harassing, threatening mob targeting female law students.
The victims of AutoAdmit complained to Ciolli. Repatedly. They asked that he moderate the worst of the posts. He belittled them and threatened to post their requests on AutoAdmit for further harassment. The dean of his law school intervened with him to moderate the posts. Repeatedly. He refused. He did, however, take down numerous other posts, including those criticizing him, from the board. The guy made a choice, to aid and abet a massive harassment-fest that edged over into threats of violence and actively googlebomb-trashed the reputations of numerous law students who were unlucky enough to be female and attending higher-ranked law schools than Ciolli and his posters.
Ciolli made his choice — in a very public way! — to allow the horribleness of AutoAdmit to continue. Now he’s facing some consequences of that decision that he made. There’s no witch hunt here, just a law firm evaluating the choices a person actually made, and deciding not to hire him.
I know for a fact, having seen the correspondence, that when a female law professor at Penn complained to Ciolli about a disgusting thread about her on that site, the thread was gone shortly thereafter. Period. It wasn't magic. When it suited him, Mr. Ciolli could get things cleaned up on that site. Sadly, it rarely suited him.