Mon, Jul. 13, 2009

Anonymous Grading Approved

AKL - Washington.   The German web-page spick-mich.de enables students to anonymously grade their teachers and schools. A teacher evaluated and graded on the site--with a grade of 4.3, 6 being the worst,--sued its operator to have the humiliating information expunged. She considers the web-site a violation of her personality rights protected by the German Constitution.

On June 23, 2009, the Federal Supreme Court for Civil Matters in Karlsruhe denied her petition, docket number VI ZR 196/08. Although the teacher may rightfully assert a violation of her personality rights, the Bundesgerichtshof explains, the constitutional protection for freedom of speech trumps her claim.

Significantly, the court found the protection to apply to an anonymous evaluation on the Internet. The view of the court contrasts sharply with the widely-held belief in Germany that anonymous speech on the Internet is per se illegal.


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