Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Liskula Cohen Forces Google To Reveal Anonymous 'Skank' Blogger's Identity

Liskula Cohen Forces Google To Reveal Anonymous 'Skank' Blogger's Identity: "Model Liskula Cohen sued Google in January in the hope of forcing the company to reveal the person responsible for allegedly defamatory comments on a blog called Skanks in NYC, which was hosted by Google's Blogger service.
'I would have to say the first-place award for 'Skankiest in NYC' would have to go to Liskula Gentile Cohen,' the anonymous blogger wrote. 'How old is this skank? 40 something? She's a psychotic, lying, whoring, still going to clubs at her age, skank.'
Cohen, who is actually 37, believed the posts were defamatory but was forced to take action against Google in order to unmask the blogger's identity before she could take further action."

While I certainly believe anyone should be able to get relief through the courts for slander and libel, I am concerned about the frivolous, minor law suits this precedence may instigate. Although I never held that I had the right to blog in complete anonymity and believe I post in a forthright manner, I am concerned that this will effect others who use Blogger to publish their blogs. Short of this type of cyber bullying (the blogger only posted five posts, all involving incendiary comments about Ms. Cohen), I would hope that the identity of bloggers be left unpublished, if so desired, unless egregious and malicious text has been found.
What can this type of precedent lead to? The defense states this could "open the floodgates" for all sorts of blog related civil actions. One example? In January, a landlord filed a law suit against a Chicago woman when she tweeted that her apartment was "moldy." The suit claimed the tweet damaged the properties reputation, even though the woman only had 20 followers at the time.
Will Blogger comply with the courts direction, or choose to seek relief and reversal in a higher appeals court? Only time will tell.