On 3rd November 2022, a US federal judge dismissed a case against the University of Wisconsin-Madison for hiding some negative comments about its vivisection work from its social media platforms. UW-Madison was sued in 2021 by Madeline Krasno, an alumna who graduated in 2013, alleging censorship by the public university for removing her critical comments about animal research from two of the school’s social media platforms.
Krasno had worked in a UW-Madison research lab as an undergraduate animal caretaker, and she said she witnessed animal abuse there. When she posted about her job experience on the university’s social media in 2020, she noticed that her negative comments were not appearing on UW-Madison’s Instagram account or Facebook page. Krasno said in her complaint that the comment section is open for discussing anything related to the university, including its animal testing. UW-Madison argued that its social media pages are limited to discussing the topics of underlying posts, and its social media policy said it has the right to remove comments considered off-topic.
US Magistrate Judge Stephen Crocker agreed. He wrote, “there is nothing unreasonable about the University preferring that the interactive comment threads have the look and feel of a brown bag lunch discussion rather than its open-air Library Mall at the foot of State Street.” The Animal Legal Defense Fund, which sued UW-Madison on Krasno’s behalf, said it is assessing “next steps” in the case. Krasno said, “this will not stop my efforts, by any means.” In a separate case, on September 2022 People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) sought criminal charges against UW’s primate research centre for the treatment staff gave to two rhesus macaque primates named Cornelius and Princess.