bs0d3 writes "Michael Geist said of a recent Canadian court ruling, 'Anonymous speech can be empowering — whistleblowers depend upon it to safeguard their identity and political participants in some countries face severe repercussions if they speak out publicly — but it also carries the danger of posts that cross the line into defamation without appropriate accountability.' Although I disagree that defamation is an acceptable reason for a court to find someone's identity, the outcome of this trial seems favorable. The court was not asked to determine whether the posts at issue were in fact defamatory. Rather, it simply faced the question of whether it should order the disclosure of personal information about the posters themselves so that someone could proceed with a defamation lawsuit. The court relied on 'Warman v. Fournier,' a previous Canadian defamation case and asked, '(1) Whether there was a reasonable expectation of anonymity; (2) Whether the plaintiff established a prima facie case of wrongdoing by the poster; (3) Whether the plaintiff tried to identify the poster and was unable to do so; and (4) Whether the public interest favoring disclosure outweigh the legitimate interests of freedom of expression and right to privacy of the persons sought to be identified if the disclosure is ordered." In this case the order to identify the poster was denied. Since the plaintiff did not identify the specific defamatory words, she failed to establish a prima facie case of defamation. Moreover, the court also ruled that the posters had a reasonable expectation of anonymity and that there were insufficient efforts to try to identify them."
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