I wholeheartedly agree with the court decision to order Google to identify the blogger who [allegedly] defamed this NY model.
My view: People need to be accountable for their public statements. Anonymous log-ins tend — in some — to breed a recklessness and nasty damaging discourtesy. And they shouldn’t get away with it. (I still defend the right of whisteblowers to post anonymously — but not personal abuse or lies.)
Model forces Google to unveil ‘skank’ blogger
By ASHER MOSES – SMH
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.
On Monday in the US, Judge Joan Madden ruled that Cohen was entitled to sue the blogger for defamation and, in an unprecedented move, forced Google to provide the blogger’s name. The name will presumably be revealed in court. It is unclear when the matter will return to court.
The tall, blonde Canadian, who is based in New York, has modelled for Giorgio Armani and Versace and appeared on the cover of the Australian edition of Vogue. But Cohen’s modelling career ground to a halt in January 2007 when a man stabbed her in the face with a broken glass, requiring her to get 46 stitches, the New York Post reported. The man, who was sent to jail, became angry after she objected to him stealing a bottle of vodka from her table.
Judge Madden rejected the claims by the blogger’s lawyer that the comments were mere opinion or ‘trash talk’, and that only factual assertions could be considered libellous. Continue reading →