internet hate

Something tells me when our forefathers were laying out the framework of the constitution, they have no idea it would be tested like this…

A Pennsylvania man, bitter from his divorce, has started a blog  about his ex-wife called ThePsychoExWife.com.

Though she is the mother of his children, Anthony Morelli allegedly took to writing posts that would make a merchant marine blush. When Allison Morelli found out about the site, she told the judge at the couple’s custody hearing who ordered Morelli to shut it down. Morelli, did not and instead wrote two more entries. In the first, he agreed to abide by the judge’s order but then, in a later post, called his ex-wife a “f***ing psycho” and “black-out drunk”. Judge Diane Gibbons called Morelli back to court a few weeks ago and had the website shutdown.

Now free speech advocates are up in arms. Did Gibbons overstep her boundaries in ordering the site shut down? Or was she doing what she thought was best for the safety and security of the couple’s minor children.

In my opinion, the judge was wrong here. Okay hang on before you excoriate me, let me finish. We know divorce is a painful process that takes its toll on young children. Both parties in such a proceeding need to be mature enough to know that and put their kids’ interests and feelings ahead of their own. Though none of us knows what happened within Anthony and Allison Morelli’s marriage it’s clear that Anthony Morelli is not doing that. We know things written online never, EVER go away and even though his blog is shut down now, what’s to ensure his kids don’t stumble on it down the line? That’s not cool.

But also not cool is trampling on the rights this country was founded on. As a former journalist working for others and now one who writes for herself, the idea that someone could come in, take exception to what I was saying and have my voice silenced is frightening. Of course, I would never, in a million years, call the father of my children names like that in a public forum, understating the weight and gravity they carry.

So what’s the solution? Allison could ignore the blog and hope their children never find out about it. But something tells me if Anthony is willing to put that stuff in print, he probably doesn’t hold his tongue around them. She could sue her ex for libel and slander, but then they’re facing more attorneys’ fees and with minor children and a custody battle already going on, is this, the best use of funds? Add to that the potential to make an already really angry man even more so.

Anthony, in the meantime, is going to appeal the judge’s ruling to a higher court. But I think the absolute best outcome, would be for Anthony Morelli to find a better way to deal with his anger. He may win in court, but his kids will be the ones who ultimately lose.

But what do you think about this case? Was the judge right to shut down Anthony Morelli’s website or did her ruling violate his right to free speech? What do you think is the best way to resolve this issue? And have you ever blasted an ex online? Fire away!