Looks like there is some recourse that the persistent among us can take when people publish rude and libelous comments about you anonymously on social media destinations.
Last week, a Manhattan judge ordered Google to identify an individual who published offensive comments on YouTube towards Carla Franklin, a former model and Columbia School of Business graduate who who appeared in YouTube videos to help promote the school. Franklin was repeatedly under attack by a series of anonymous comments found to be published by a single “cyberbully” using three different aliases. In August, Franklin filed a lawsuit against Google, the owner of YouTube, and based on the judge’s ruling last week, it appears she’ll get something for her efforts — the name of her cyberbully and awareness of the wider problem of cyberbullying (which happens in many forms across the social web).
According to the NY Daily News, the ruling in Franklin’s case came one day after a separate cyberbullying case was brought against Twitter by a Broadway star and as ReelSEO reports (via CBS News), just 14 months after a judge ruled in favor of a model against a formerly anonymous blogger who had published content that damaged the model’s reputation.
As recent news events have shown us, cyberbullying can go far beyond a rude comment or two. It seems more and more people are starting to fight back against the anonymity of the online space. The question in judges’ hands is where to strike the balance between freedom of speech and protecting citizens from cyberbullying and libel. This is an issue that is destined to only grow bigger. Where do you weigh in? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.