Jason Fortuny

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Jason Fortuny is a Seattle-area freelance graphic designer and network administrator who received a degree of media attention when he published on Encyclopædia Dramatica the personal details and photographs of the men who responded to a fake personal ad he posted on Craigslist. He described himself to a The New York Times reporter as "a normal person who does insane things on the Internet."[1]

"Craigslist Experiment"[edit]

Fortuny took the advertisement of another Craigslist poster, purportedly a real woman seeking a dominant partner for sex,[1] and re-posted it in the Casual Encounters section of Seattle's Craigslist personals. On September 4, 2006, he posted to the online wiki Encyclopædia Dramatica all 178 of the responses, complete with photographs and personal contact details, describing this as "the Craigslist Experiment", and encouraged others to further identify the respondents.[2]

The Electronic Frontier Foundation indicated that Fortuny may be liable under Washington State Law, and that this would depend on whether the information he disclosed was of legitimate public concern. Kurt Opsahl, the EFF's staff attorney, said "As far as I know, they (the respondents) are not public figures, so it would be challenging to show that this was something of public concern."[3] while Wired writer Ryan Singel described Fortuny as "sociopathic".[4] According to Fortuny, two people lost their jobs as a result of his Craigslist Experiment.[1]

A "John Doe" plaintiff who was exposed by his project filed a lawsuit against Jason Fortuny in Illinois.[5] On April 9, 2009, the Illinois federal court issued a default judgment in the case Doe v. Fortuny requiring Fortuny to pay "John Doe" $74,252.56 in damages, attorneys fees, and costs.[6]

Fake Lori Drew blog[edit]

Fortuny also said, in an interview with The New York Times reporter Mattathias Schwarz, that he played a previously unknown role in the controversy after the suicide of Megan Meier. He created a blog called "Megan Had It Coming" which made crude attacks on the dead girl and her family, while posing as Lori Drew, the mother of a former friend of Meier, who had been accused of creating a MySpace account that had driven Meier to suicide. Although Drew denied authorship, many people remained uncertain about her denials. The county sheriff's department tried but failed to identify the blog's real author. Schwarz, who watched Fortuny log into the blog and make a post there, describes Fortuny's motivation as "to question the public’s hunger for remorse and to challenge the enforceability of cyberharassment laws," adding that Fortuny is "pleased with how the Megan Had It Coming blog succeeded."[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Schwartz, Mattathias (August 3, 2008). "The Trolls Among Us". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved August 1, 2008. 
  2. ^ Neva Chonin (September 17, 2006). "Sex and the City". San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco Chronicle). Retrieved June 17, 2007. 
  3. ^ Anick Jesdanun (September 12, 2006). "Prankster posts sex ad replies online". Associated Press. Retrieved June 27, 2007. 
  4. ^ Ryan Singel (September 8, 2006). "Craigslist". Threat Level. Wired. Archived from the original on May 4, 2008. Retrieved September 12, 2006. 
  5. ^ "Jason Fortuny Responds to Lawsuit". Retrieved November 16, 2008. 
  6. ^ CMLP Staff. "Doe v. Fortuny". Citizen Media Law Project. Citizen Media Law Project. Retrieved April 19, 2009. 

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