Interesting times indeed folks. A woman is attempting to sue an anonymous poster over a comment made online. Here’s the scoop:
Last year, the Richmond Register ran an article about a woman who had been kicked out of a mall because the dress she was wearing was too short. (I didn’t even know they could do that – who determines what is “too short” anyway?)
Well, it seems, after the story ran, an anonymous poster wrote in the comments section of the article that the woman had actually been kicked out because she’d exposed herself to a woman and her children.
The dress wearer has now filed a defamation lawsuit against the poster – seeking unspecified damages – and subpoenaed the newspaper for the person’s name. (Good thing the damages are unspecified because for all we know the commenter could be a
teenager with nothing more than babysitting money in her pocket!)
The paper is citing the Reporter’s Shield Law (the law that protects journalists from having to disclose confidential sources of published information). It seems another Register reporter wrote about the lawsuit and mentioned the poster’s comment in his piece – thereby making that poster a “source.”
This is certainly a slippery slope, folks and one we will surely see more of as Web 2.0 continues to grow.