Tuscon, Arizona (WiredPRNews.com) — On Wednesday, after defamatory comments were made on the Internet about two female Yale Law School students, one of the defendants of the federal lawsuit was identified.
According to court papers, the two women have filed new documents in the U.S. district court against Mathew C. Ryan of Austin, Texas. Through the subpoenas and Internet services provider, the women have learned the identities of many other defendants involved in this offense. These women are also trying to resolve claims against the alleged offenders before making the final decision to name them.
This move largely threatens to expose the law students as well as renew the debate about the matter that anonymous scribes of Internet could be identified and held lawfully responsible for the malicious postings. According to a legal analyst, this case is not unique but can be taken as a reminder about the fact that it is easy to trace all anonymous postings that are posted on the Internet.
One of the professors at George Washington University Law School, Daniel Solove commented, “A lot of people don’t really think about that.” He further added, “I do think it’s going to have an effect on what people say. It’s one of the most prominent cases of its type.” The lawsuit filed last year charges that both female students were badly defamed by repeated postings as they threatened and harassed the women sexually.
According to the court papers, the postings were made on a discussion board wherein law schools as well as colleges generally draw about 80,000 to 1 million visitors per month. As per the comments of the women, Ryan made slurs that were sexually charged and posted them on the web. These postings also included one false claim that one of the female students had a sexually transmitted disease.
Wired Law Reporter