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Naming and not naming

Toby Studabaker, the US marine that persuaded a 12 year old girl to accompany him to Frankfurt, and who’s accused of her abduction, is currently on trial. The girl he’s accused of abducting is, of course, having her identity protected by law – the media can’t publish her name.

Yet, of course, her name is very easy to find: it was plastered all over every paper and every UK news site during her abduction, and it’s easy to find if you just do a search in the archives of the BBC on Studabaker’s name. It looks like the BBC has gone through their archives and removed some of the mentions of her name from the stories – but the summaries still contain references.

The crucial thing is that surely this is a case when the law, which otherwise serves a good purpose, is actually pointless.

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