The person who commented online on a local newspaper’s site that a political candidate was a child sexual predator cannot remain anonymous, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
The attorney for the anonymous commenter on a Freeport (Ill.) Journal Standard article said he was mulling an appeal to the US Supreme Court. But it would be a tough sell. Most of the nation’s state courts have ruled that when it comes to defamation, online anonymity is out the door. (Comcast had refused to release the IP address account information, demanding a court order. Litigation ensued.)
The anonymous defendant claimed that there were insufficient facts to support a claim of defamation to begin with, so the identity shouldn’t be unmasked over the 2011 comment. When trying to unmask an anonymous online commenter for defamation, there must be enough evidence to justify that whatever was said online was defamatory, the court said.
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