Comcast Must Reveal Online Troll's Identity, Court Rules

The comment sections of websites are usually a good place to go if you are looking for vitriol and filth, and often a commenter's misplaced rage or unwarranted insults are passed on anonymously, the real person behind the words never having to face up to them. Every so often, though, we hear a story about trolls being hit with real-world ramifications, and such is the case with one anonymous Internet poster at the center of a recent Illinois Supreme Court ruling.

The problem, it seems, stems from a belief that posting anonymously online means that one is truly anonymous or otherwise untouchable. In this case, a yet-unnamed Internet user posted a comment on an article from 2011 stating that Bill Hadley, who was running for the Stephenson County board, "is a Sandusky waiting to be exposed. Check out the view he has of Empire [Elementary School] from his front door."

The commenter used the handle "Fuboy", and in a recent ruling the Illinois Supreme Court has ruled Comcast must turn over his or her identity. The commenter is being represented by attorney Robert Fagan. According to the Chicago Tribune, Fagan anticipates his client seeking a US Supreme Court hearing on the matter.

If/when the commenter's identity is revealed, Hadley will pursue a defamation lawsuit over the comment. This is the latest in multiple similar rulings where commenters' identities are not protected in the event of defamation.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune