T Nation

Anonymous Posters Liable?

People may wish to be a bit more circumspect if they’re posting libel anonymously on the internet.

See this article:

The facts claimed by the plaintiff here are pretty bad – it looks like someone posted untrue “facts” about some women who weren’t celebrities or politicians (and used their real names) on an internet board. And then made threats about raping and sodomizing the women.

Of course, the defendant may be able to prove some of the claims are true (not the threats, obviously), and truth is a defense in libel claims in the U.S.

Still, those who think the anonymity of the internet is an ultimate protection may wish to rethink spreading scurrilous lies about people online (particularly if they are going to use a person’s real name). And the First Amendment does not protect anyone’s ability to make threats or to knowingly spread lies.

More analysis here:

http://www.volokh.com/posts/chain_1181709221.shtml

That rings pretty close to home right here at T-Nation.

A research chemical company is suing someone who once wrote a couple of articles for T-Nation over things he said here in in the Steroid Forum. It was filed in a Louisiana Court back in Late March or early April.

T-Nation was not named in the suit - only the writer.

Meh.

One word: Tor.

http://tor.eff.org/