Blanchard et al v. Tillman et al
ORDER AND REASONS: IT IS ORDERED that the special 11 motion to strike is GRANTED, DISMISSING WITH PREJUDICE plaintiffs' claims against all defendants; IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Court shall retain jurisdiction to decide defendants' motion for attorney's fees provided that the motion and supporting materials are filed within fourteen (14) days of this order and in accordance with Local Rules of the EDLA. Signed by Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle on 3/31/2021. (pp)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
SADIE MICHELE BLANCHARD
AND COMMITTEE TO ELECT
S. MICHELE BLANCHARD, LLC
JEFFREY SCOTT TILLMAN
AND U.S. TERM LIMITS
ORDER AND REASONS
Before the Court are defendants Jeffrey Tillman and U.S. Term
Limits’ special motion to strike under Louisiana Code of Civil
Procedure Article 971 or in the alternative motion to dismiss under
Rule 12(b)(6) (Rec. Doc. 11), plaintiffs Sadie Michele Blanchard
and Committee to Elect S. Michele Blanchard, LLC’s response in
opposition (Rec. Doc. 12), and defendant’s reply (Rec. Doc. 17).
For the reasons discussed below,
IT IS ORDERED that the special motion to strike (Rec. Doc.
against all defendants;
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Court shall retain jurisdiction
to decide defendants’ motion for attorney’s fees provided that the
motion and supporting materials are filed within fourteen (14)
days of this order and in accordance with Local Rules of the EDLA.
FACTUAL BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
This suit arises out of the October 2019 election. Rec. Doc.
13 at 2. In October 2019, plaintiff Sadie Michele Blanchard was a
candidate for the Louisiana House of Representatives District 76
race. Rec. Doc. 1-1 at 2. During her candidacy, Defendant Jeffrey
Tillman was an employee of U.S. Term Limits as its Deputy Filed
allegedly solicited information through a private email account
from Blanchard, seeking information regarding her thoughts on
congressional term limits. Id. Plaintiffs’ complaint indicates
that Tillman emailed Blanchard three times. Rec. Doc. 1-1 at 4-6.
Blanchard states that she responded to Tillman’s email on August
20, 2019. Id. Blanchard responded that she had “no objection to
term limits for Congress or any other elected office, except the
responsibility to answer to the people and who fail to understand
the practical impact and implications that the regulations they
administrate have on people.” Id. at 4. Tillman emailed Blanchard
twice thereafter sharing information on congressional term limits.
Id. at 5-6. Blanchard responded to his second email by saying that
she “does not pledge the people’s vote in advance on this or any
issue. I believe it is best to remain open minded on all issues
until the moment of voting, however, I have no issue with giving
my present or indication of how I would vote.” Id. She responded
to his third email saying that her “answer remains the same.” Id.
According to plaintiffs, defendants used Blanchard’s email
answers to launch a negative social media campaign two weeks prior
to the election. Rec. Doc. 13 at 2. Defendants “caused four attack
mailers to be mailed that contained many false statements.”
The four mailers contained slogans that stated that Blanchard was
against congressional term limits. Rec. Doc. 1-1 at 9-10. The first
mailer stated that Blanchard should “stop opposing term limits!”
Id. at 9. The second mailer urged people to call Blanchard and ask
her why she opposes term limits. Id. at 10. The third mailer
congressional term limits. Id. at 13. The fourth mailer also
congressional term limits. Id. at 15.
As a result, plaintiffs filed a Petition for Damages and Fines
pursuant to La. R.S. 18:1463 and La. Civ. Code art. 2998 in the
22nd Judicial State Court for the Parish of St. Tammany, State of
Louisiana. Rec. Doc. 9-1 at 2. The petition contains three claims,
including (1) election law violations with a request for penalties;
(2) defamation with request for damages; and (3) enrichment without
cause under La. Civ. Code Ann. Art. 2298. Rec. Doc. 13 at 2. On
September 1, 2020, defendants removed the state action to federal
1 There is conflicting evidence on whether Tillman was involved in creating
and distributing the mailers. Tillman states that he was not involved in
creating and sending the mailers. Rec. Doc. 11-1 at 3. He states that his
only role was emailing Blanchard. Id. Blanchard contends that Tillman was
involved in creating and sending the mailers. Rec. Doc. 1-1 at 2.
court on the grounds of complete diversity and damages exceeding
$75,000. Rec. Doc. 1 at 2.
On October 9, 2020, defendants filed a motion to dismiss for
failure to state a claim and motion to strike pursuant to Louisiana
Code of Civil Procedure Article 971. Rec. Doc. 11. Defendants seek
to protect their right to free speech. Rec. Doc. 11-1 at 1.
Defendants also contend that plaintiffs have not alleged any
cognizable damages and therefore their claims should be dismissed
for failure to state a claim. Id.
On October 19, 2020, plaintiffs filed a response stating that
they could show the probability of success on their claim because
the mailers were published with actual malice. Rec. Doc. 12 at 1.
On October 26, 2020, defendants filed a reply arguing the
absence of actual malice evidence. Rec. Doc. 17 at 4.
LAW AND ANALYSIS
a. Motion to Strike
Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure Article 971 “is Louisiana’s
Bailey, 996 F. Supp. 2d 477, 487 (E.D.La.2014). The article states:
A cause of action against a person arising from any act of
that person in furtherance of the person's right of petition
or free speech under the United States or Louisiana
Constitution in connection with a public issue shall be
subject to a special motion to strike, unless the court
determines that the plaintiff has established a probability
of success on the claim.
La. Code Civ. Pro. art. 971(A)(1). This article explains that an
“act in furtherance” consists of “[a]ny written or oral statement
or writing made in connection with an issue under consideration or
review by a legislative, executive, or judicial body, or any other
statement or writing made in a place open to the public or a public
forum in connection with an issue of public interest.” La. Code
Civ. Pro. art. 971(F)(1)(b)(c).
“The defendant must establish that a cause of action against
him arises from an act by him in furtherance of the exercise of
his right of petition or free speech under the United States or
Hoffman, 996 F. Supp. 2d at 488. “If the defendant makes this
showing, the burden then shifts to the plaintiff to demonstrate a
probability of success on his claim.” Id.
The United States Supreme Court stated that “[t]he First
Amendment has its fullest and most urgent application to speech
uttered during a campaign for political office.” Schittone v.
Stoma, 17-1732, p.5 (La. App. 1st Cir. 5/2/18), 2018 WL 2078822,
at *4 (citing Eu v. San Francisco County Democratic Central Comm.,
489 U.S. 214, 223 (1989)). Additionally, the Louisiana Supreme
Court explained that speech concerning the public “relat[es] to
community.” Shelton v. Pavon, 17–0482, p.12 (La. 10/18/17), 236
So. 3d 1233, 1241 (holding that private disputes involving private
parties is not a matter of public concern)(citing Connick v. Myers,
461 U.S. 138, 146 (1983)).
The Louisiana First Circuit relied on jurisprudence from the
United States Supreme Court, which “stated that whether speech
addresses a matter of public concern must be determined by the
content, form and context of a given statement, as revealed by the
whole record.” Schittone, 2018 WL 2078822 at *4 (citing Connick,
461 U.S. at 147-48). The First Circuit concluded that distributing
campaign literature is an act in furtherance of the First Amendment
right of free speech. Lamz v. Wells, 05-1497, p.6 (La. App. 1st
Cir. 6/9/06), 938 So. 2d 792, 797; Schittone, 2018 WL 2078822 at
advertisement about judicial candidate was in furtherance of their
right to free speech).
furtherance of their right to free speech and pertained to a matter
of public concern and interest, namely elections and a candidate’s
position on term limits. Rec. Doc. 11-1 at 10. By contrast,
plaintiffs argue that congressional terms have little relevance in
the State of Louisiana and are not an issue of public concern.
Rec. Doc. 12 at 10.
Plaintiffs’ argument is unavailing because the context of the
speech relates to a public issue and was made during a campaign
for political office. Id. The United States Supreme Court has
Amendment. Eu, 489 U.S. at 223. Additionally, the campaign mailers
fall under the protection of Article 971 because congressional
term limits raise issues that are matters of political concern
statements that were distributed to the public. Therefore, the
speech in question is related to a public issue and was in
furtherance of defendants right to free speech.
Because defendants met their burden in showing the speech was
related to a public issue, the burden is shifted to plaintiffs, who
must demonstrate a probability of success on their claim. See
Schittone, 2018 WL 2078822 at *2. “The burden of proof on public
official plaintiffs in defamation cases concerning their official
plaintiff fails to demonstrate a probability of success, the
dismisses the claim.” Henry v. Lake Charles Am.
Press, L.L.C., 566 F.3d 164, 171 (5th Cir. 2009).
“A cause of action for defamation arises out of La. C.C. art.
2315. Defamation involves the invasion of a person's interest in
his or her reputation and good name.” Starr v. Boudreaux, 20070652, p. 5 (La. App. 1st Cir. 12/21/07), 978 So. 2d 384, 389
(citing Costello v. Hardy, 03–1146, p. 12 (La. 1/21/04), 864 So.
2d 129, 139). To prevail in a defamation action, “a plaintiff must
statement concerning another; (2) an unprivileged publication to
a third party; (3) a fault (negligence or greater) on the part of
the publisher; and (4) resulting injury.” Fitzgerald v. Tucker,
98–2313, p. 10 (La. 6/29/99), 737 So.2d 706, 715. “If any one of
these required elements is lacking, plaintiff's cause of action
fails.” Id. (citing Costello, 864 So.2d at 140). “A non-movant’s
burden in opposing an Article 971 motion to strike is the same as
that of a non-movant opposing summary judgment under Rule 56.”
Block v. Tanenhaus, 867 F.3d 585, 590 (5th Cir. 2017). Therefore,
plaintiffs must show a genuine issue of material fact as to
defamatory, falsity, fault and injury. Id.
First, plaintiffs must show that the mailers were defamatory.
Cangelosi v. Schwegmann Bros. Giant Super Markets, 390 So. 2d 196,
198 (La. 1980). There are two categories of defamatory statements.
Markovich v. Villere, 2017-1739, p. 12 (La. App. 1st Cir. 2/28/19),
273 So. 3d 333, 343, writ denied, 2019-0500 (La. 5/20/19), 271 So.
3d 201. Statements can be defamatory per se if the statements
“expressly or implicitly accuse another of criminal conduct, or
which by their very nature tend to injure one's personal or
professional reputation.” Id. “When a plaintiff proves publication
of words that are defamatory per se, falsity and malice (or fault)
are presumed, but may be rebutted by the defendant.” Id.
Statements can also be defamatory “if the words, taken in
context, tend to injure the person’s reputation, to expose the
person to public ridicule, to deter others from associating or
dealing with the person, or to deprive the person of public
confidence in his or her occupation.” Davis, 660 So. 2d at 22.
“The question for the court in determining whether words have a
communication, taken in context, as intended in a defamatory
sense.” Id. In this case, “a plaintiff must prove, in addition to
malice (or fault) and injury.” Markovich, 273 So. 3d at 343.
cases involving statements made about a public figure, where
constitutional limitations are implicated, a plaintiff must prove
actual malice, i.e., that the defendant either knew the statement
Costello, 864 So. 2d at 140–41 (citing Romero v. Thomson Newspapers
Wisconsin, Inc., 94–1105, p. 5 (La. 1/17/95), 648 So. 2d 866,
The Louisiana Second Circuit has held that the word “thug”
used when “referring to the opposing political campaign workers”
was not defamatory per se. William E. Crawford, 12 La. Civ. L.
Treatise, Tort Law 17:6 (2nd ed. 2020)(citing Garrett v. Kneass,
482 So. 2d 876 (La. Ct. App. 2d Cir. 1986)(concluding that the
word thug “does not impute any particular crime to the plaintiff”).
In contrast, the Louisiana Fifth Circuit held that a statement
made about a cadet in the police academy using steroids was
defamatory per se because “the friends of the cadet got the
impression that the cadet was using steroids.” Id. (citing Fourcade
v. City of Gretna, 598 So.2d 415 (La. Ct App. 5th Cir. 1992)).
In Costello, the Louisiana Supreme Court held that statements
made against an attorney were defamatory but not defamatory per
se. Costello, 864 So. 2d at 141. The statement made was that the
competent practitioners in his same field.” Id. The court found
that these statements allege negligence which “call into question”
the defendant’s “skill as an attorney” and therefore injure his
statement would not injure his professional reputation unless one
considers the extrinsic facts. Id. Therefore, the statement is
defamatory but not defamatory per se. Id. at 141-42. Plaintiffs
Blanchard’s reputation and “deters others from
associating with her and/or voting for her.” Rec. Doc. 12 at 1415. However, plaintiffs do not provide evidence that those who
received the mailers stopped associating with her or otherwise
interpreted the statements in a defamatory sense. See Rec. Doc. 11 and 12. All statements contained therein pertained to Blanchard’s
opposition to term limits and at no point alleged criminal conduct.
See id. at 10-16.
Instead, plaintiffs offer evidence demonstrating a 3% drop in
Blanchard’s polling numbers after the mailers were distributed.
Rec. Doc. 12 at 17. Although this evidence may suggest a connection
between the mailers and Blanchard’s electability, it does not prove
that the mailers “ruined her reputation as a politician.” The
mailers did not allege that she was negligent nor do they allege
that she performed poorly at her job; rather the mailers simply
allege that Blanchard is against congressional term limits. See
Rec. Doc. 1-1. Therefore, it is unlikely that the statements were
defamatory per se or defamatory.
Cangelosi, 390 So. 2d at 198. Plaintiffs must prove that the
statements were false and may not recover if a defendant is able
to prove that the statements made were true. Costello, 864 So.2d
at 141. The Louisiana Supreme Court stated that “truth is a
defense, and it is sufficient if an allegedly libelous article is
substantially true: unimportant details need not be accurate.”
Romero, 648 So. 2d at 870.
In Brown v. Times-Picayune, LLC, the First Circuit held that
statements made by the defendant that the defense attorney “deserts
client midtrial” were false. 14-0160, p. 8 (La. App. 1st Cir.
11/3/14) 167 So.3d 665, 667-70. The court reasoned that this
headline wrongfully implied that the attorney abandoned his client
mid-trial and that “extreme negative connotations” resulted from
using the word “desert.” Id. at 669. The attorney’s withdrawal
representation because he had never performed as lead counsel nor
had he handled juvenile sexual assault cases. Id. Therefore, the
court concluded that the statement that the plaintiff “deserted”
his client was inaccurate and false. Id.
In contrast, the Louisiana Supreme Court held that statements
made about a doctor were substantially true. Romero, 648 So. 2d at
871. The statement made was that the hospital’s high rate of
Caesarean surgeries was attributed to a certain physician that “is
nearing retirement and only attends longtime patients who have had
previous children—the category of women most likely to have a
Caesarean.” Id. at 869. The reporter who wrote the statement stated
that he interviewed an administrator at the hospital who said the
physician had a “limited, semi-retired practice.” Id. at 871. The
court stated that while the reporter’s comment was not precise, it
had “a reasonable basis” because of the administrator’s statement
made to the reporter. Id.
statements. Rec. Doc. 1-1 at 7-15. The first mailer contained three
statements, including (1) Blanchard “refused to sign the pledge to
support congressional term limits;” (2) Blanchard “does not care
about term limits for Congress;” and (3) urging voters to tell
Blanchard to stop opposing term limits. Id. at 7-8. The second
mailer also included similar statements, such as urging voters to
call Blanchard “and ask her why she opposes President Trump’s
effort on term limits.” Id. at 10. It also included a statement
that stated that it is “outrageous that [Blanchard] refuses to
support term limits on Congress.” Rec. Doc. 1-1 at 11. The third
mailer also consisted of three statements, including Blanchard
“does not care about term limits;” Blanchard refused to sign the
U.S. Term Limits Pledge; and “stop opposing congressional term
limits.” Rec. Doc. 1-1 at 13. The fourth mailer included a similar
statement which said Blanchard does not support term limits for
Congress. Id. at 15.
Defendants maintain that the mailers’ statements are true as
they are based on emails exchanged between Blanchard and Tillman
where she expressly declined to support defendants’ stance on term
limits. Rec. Doc. 11-1 at 8; Rec. Doc. 11-1 at 2.
against term limits. See Rec. Doc. 1-1 at 7-15. While some of the
statements in the mailers were exaggerated, there was truth behind
representation, the statements made in the mailers were based off
statements made by Blanchard. Although she expressed that she had
no objection to term limits, Blanchard choose not to support
believe that she was against congressional term limits. Therefore,
collected by them that they reasonably believed to be true.
However, even if this Court finds that the statements were
false, plaintiffs must prove that defendants published the mailers
with actual malice. Cangelosi, 390 So. 2d at 198. “In order to
recover damages for defamation under the New York Times Standard,
a plaintiff who is a public official must establish by clear and
convincing evidence that the defamatory statement was made with
actual malice.” Davis, 660 So. 2d at 23 (citing New York Times,
376 U.S. at 279-80). Actual malice is defined as knowledge that
the statement was false or published the statement with “reckless
disregard of whether it was false or not.” Id. at 10. (citing New
York Times, 376 U.S. at 279-80). “The public official must prove
that the defendant published the false statements with a high
degree of awareness of its probable falsity,” id. (citing Garrison
v. Louisiana, 379 U.S. 64, 74 (1964)), or that “the defendant in
publication.” Id. (citing St. Amant v. Thompson, 390 U.S. 727, 731
investigated before publishing.” Young v. Meyer, 527 So. 2d 391,
392 (La. App. 4th Cir. 1988) (citing St. Amant, 390 U.S. at 731).
The Louisiana Fourth Circuit upheld a trial court’s finding
of actual malice. Bruno v. Medley, 20-0515, p. 17 (La. App. 4th
Cir. 11/2/20), 2020 WL 6435795 at *8. The parties in this case
were running for judicial election wherein the plaintiff created
a television commercial that called the defendant a “deadbeat dad”
who failed to pay child support for 13 years. Id. The plaintiff
divorce. Id. at *7. The court records did not establish that the
Additionally, the plaintiff testified that the defendant did pay
concluded that the plaintiff acted with actual malice because she
knew health care and tuition were child support payments and she
had no evidence of a judgment that he failed to pay child support
payments. Id. at *8.
plaintiff could not prove the elements of a defamation claim,
including actual malice. Lamz, 938 So. 2d at 798. The defendant
stated in an affidavit that he “did not act with knowledge of or
a reckless disregard of the truth.” Id. at 797. The First Circuit
stated that the evidence did not show that the plaintiff could
support actual malice without further explanation. Id. at 798.
Plaintiffs argue that Lamz does not apply in this case because
defendants knew that Blanchard did not oppose term limits based
off the email exchange between Blanchard and Tillman. Rec. Doc. 12
at 15. Plaintiffs argue that the affidavit submitted by Nick
Tomboulides, who is the Executive Director of U.S. Term Limits
affidavit confirms that the mailers were based off the email
exchange between Tillman and Blanchard. Rec. Doc. 11-2 at 2.
However, it neither shows nor suggests that defendants acted with
reckless disregard to the truth. See id.
Based on the same email conversation, defendants believed
that Blanchard does not support term limits because she failed to
sign their pledge. Rec. Doc. 11-1 at 8. The facts do not indicate
that defendants doubted the truth of these statements nor do they
indicate that defendants were aware that these statements were
false. In each email exchange with Tillman, Blanchard failed to
give her support for congressional term limits. Rec. Doc. 11-2 at
2. This failure caused defendants to create and distribute mailers
that conveyed what they earnestly believed to be Blanchard’s lack
of support. Because plaintiffs do not allege any other facts to
establish malice, their defamation claim fails.
However, assuming arguendo that the statements were made with
actual malice, plaintiffs must prove injury. Cangelosi, 390 So. 2d
at 198. “The injury resulting from a defamatory statement may
reputation, personal humiliation, embarrassment and mental anguish
even when no special damage such as loss of income is claimed.”
Costello, 864 So. 2d at 141 (citing Kosmitis v. Bailey, 28,585, p.
4 (La. App. 2nd Cir. 12/20/96), 685 So. 2d 1177, 1180). “Plaintiff
must present competent evidence of the injuries suffered” and “that
the defamatory statements were a substantial factor in causing the
harm.” Id. (citing Taylor v. Town of Arcadia, 519 So. 2d 303, 306
(La. App. 2d Cir.), writ denied, 522 So.2d 1097 (La. 1988)).
However, “there is no need to establish the actual pecuniary value
of the injury suffered.” Arnaud v. Dies, 2016-642, p. 12 (La. App.
3rd Cir. 12/7/16), 208 So. 3d 1017, 1026.
Here, plaintiffs claim that they suffered the injury of losing
the election. Rec. Doc. 12 at 17. Plaintiffs argue that these
mailers caused injury to Blanchard because they diminished her
reputation. Id. Plaintiffs state that Blanchard won early voting
by 51% and dropped to 48% in the polls after the mailers were
distributed, suggesting that the mailers were a substantial factor
in causing her harm. Id. Plaintiffs do not provide any other
evidence to prove injury to Blanchard’s reputation or to show how
Blanchard and her committee suffered financially. See Rec. Doc. 12
at 16-17. Plaintiffs failed to provide sufficient corroborating
evidence to show injury besides the fact that Blanchard dropped 3%
in the polls after the mailers were distributed. Id.
For the reasons stated above, defendants’ motion to strike
pursuant to Louisiana Civil Procedure Article 971.2
plaintiffs’ claims should be dismissed with prejudice.
b. Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6)
claims will sustain diversity jurisdiction for failure to exceed
remaining claims are state election law violations and enrichment
without cause. Rec. Doc. 1-1 at 11-20.
Article 971(B) states that the prevailing party “shall be awarded reasonable
attorney’s fees and costs.” La. Code Civ. Pro. art. 971(B).
18:1463(A), La. R.S. 18:1463(C)(1), and La. R.S. 18:1463(C)(2)(c).
Rec. Doc. 1-1 at 17-18. La. R.S. 18:1463(F) states that “[w]hoever
violates any provision of this Section shall be fined not more
than two thousand dollars or be imprisoned, with or without hard
labor, for not more than two years, or both.” La. R.S. 18:1463(F)
This means that plaintiffs’ damages for violations of election law
may not exceed $2,000 in damages. Id. Additionally, defendants
state that only the district attorney can seek criminal penalties
and imprisonment. Rec. Doc. 11-1 at 16. Therefore, it is unlikely
that this claim has any monetary damages because the $2,000 fine
is a criminal penalty. See La. R.S. 18:1463.
Plaintiffs also seek reasonable attorney fees in connection
with their election law claim. However, a plaintiff may only
Plaintiffs state in their reply that they are not asking for
injunctive relief because the election has already concluded. Rec.
Doc. 12 at 19. Therefore, plaintiffs would not be entitled to
Last, plaintiffs claim damages for enrichment without cause.
La. Civ. Code Art. 2298 states the amount of damages that a
plaintiff may recover for enrichment without cause. It states that
“[t]he amount of compensation due is measured by the extent to
which one has been enriched or the other has been impoverished,
whichever is less. The extent of the enrichment or impoverishment
is measured as of the time the suit is brought or, according to
the circumstances, as of the time the judgment is rendered.” La.
Civ. Code Art. 2298. “The root principle of unjust enrichment is
that the plaintiff suffers an economic detriment for which he
should not be responsible, while the defendant receives an economic
benefit for which he has not paid.” Quaternary Res. Investigations,
11/19/20)(citing State By & Through Caldwell v. Fournier Industrie
et Sante, 2017-1552 (La. App. 1st Cir. 8/3/18), 256 So.3d 295,
303, writ denied, 2018-2065 (La. 4/8/19), 267 So. 3d 607). It is
difficult to ascertain an amount of damages from the facts listed
in plaintiffs’ petition. Plaintiffs do not provide facts on how
defendants received an economic benefit. See Rec. Doc. 1-1 and 12.
It appears that this claim is generally unsuccessful because
it “cannot stand when a plaintiff has another remedy available to
it, particularly a contractual remedy.” Ferrara Fire Apparatus,
Inc. v. JLG Indus., Inc., 581 F. App'x 440, 442 (5th Cir. 2014).
Defendants argue that plaintiffs have another remedy available
which is a copyright claim, but plaintiffs did not bring this cause
plaintiffs’ unjust enrichment claim would not stand.
New Orleans, Louisiana this 31st day of March, 2021
SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?