07/02/10 125 W - + 2 - 5 Judge Orders Identities of Bloggers Be Divulged

Anonymous is anonymous, right? Maybe not necessarily, as this WRAL story passed along from a reader reports. Superior Court judge has ordered a Henderson blogger to reveal the identities of anonymous posters who made defamatory comments about a former county commissioner. The blog is called Home in Henderson. The offending comments were posted in response to a news story last year, and involving charges involving rental property involving people living in unsanitary conditions therein. Searching the HiH site finds assorted related stories, including this one from April, when the former commissioner filed the intent to sue. Reader comments total 144 on that one. Read, digest, react. Discuss as desired. More later, after Yours Truly does additional reading as well.

From a purely legal standpoint:

The WRAL story is a big confusing… it first states that the speech is protected under the First Amendment and isn’t libelous, but then orders disclosure of the names. Quoting…

"Tommy Hester wanted to get the names of up to 20 people who made anonymous posts on the Home In Henderson website, but Judge Howard Manning ruled Monday that the other posts weren’t libelous and were protected by the First Amendment."

WEREN’T LIBELOUS and WERE PROTECTED. So… why the need to order them turned over?

As for me and my blogging here, I can tell you that Mike is the first one to quash so-called "trashing" of others, when it crosses the line. As I have not read the subject of the above case, I don’t know whether or not it crossed the line. But, there is also the general precept of being nice while proving your point. It’s fine if you want to disagree, but simply disagree, don’t slam someone else.
CJS (Email) - 07/02/10 - 09:57

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