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Web trolls are being ousted

by Hannah Sinclair | 12.06.2012

New laws are coming into place which will force websites to identify people who post defamatory messages online. The Government is stating that victims have a right to know the true identity of those who are harassing them.

Facebook was forced last week to identify a user who had falsely branded Nicola Brookes a paedophile and drug dealer. Facebook did not object against the order and has now stated they will reveal the IP addresses of users who commit illegal acts when requested.

Those who operate a website are currently responsible for all that is posted on it. It is for this reason that Facebook introduced their ‘report a violation’, as this qualifies as Facebook doing everything they can to prevent slanderous and defamatory behaviour. However, once this new law has been added to the Defamation Bill, removing defamatory comments will not be enough and websites who refuse to supply information regarding their users will instead face the defamation claim themselves.

The new law basically banishes any previous argument which many trolls used regarding human rights and freedom of speech. The aim is for internet users to be aware that they can no longer hide behind their online identity and that online illegal activity will results in legal action being taken.