Court Forces Disclosure of Hidden Online Identity

Discussion in 'Serious Chat' started by Mark, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. Mark

    Mark I'm Ron F***ing Swanson. LPA Administrator

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    Link

    Thoughts?
     
  2. travz21

    travz21 Muscle Museum LPA Super Member

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    Jesus christ. I don't know where to begin. I'll just go back to listening to Living Things.
     
  3. Luke

    Luke Mind Your Manners. LPA Addicted VIP

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    I'm kind of okay with it. I'm just playing devil's advocate here, but Why should people be allowed to prance around online using fake names? Alot of people seem to make a the great mistake of thinking what happens online stays online, so if you troll someone to the point of distress then it bares no relevance to reality. These people need to wake up and see that online is reality and you shouldn't be allowed to get away with slander just because the person you're attacking isn't in the same location. After all, If someone went around criticising and attacking people on the streets just for the hell of it then they'd probably have their head kicked in eventually.

    I think when you sign up to something online, it should be compulsory that your real full name is available to access. I'm not talking addresses or telephone numbers but I don't see how it's right to entertain anyone the privacy of not revealing their full name when they have no positive intentions when they sign up to a social network, forum etc. I think if access to real names were made compulsory then we'd see much less online crime such as paedophiles targeting kids through chat rooms and other online abuse.

    I'm not saying when you sign up to a forum or social network your user name should be your real full name but I do think that under all profiles of every member of every forum or social network there should be the user's full name. If you feel like it's okay to attack someone online then I say you should put your money where your mouth is and see if you've got the bottle to deal with someone when they chose to seek legal action against you.

    On the other hand I think these views could also open up a can of worms when it comes to differentiating innocent-no-harm-intended ribbing and actual online abuse. I think if someone's being constantly hounded by someone like in the quoted article then they're well within their right to seek to put an end to it.
     
  4. Rocky

    Rocky Well-Known Member

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    This is what happens when you have money and a low self-esteem
     
  5. Will

    Will bread crumbs & white stones LPA Addicted VIP

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    I think this is completely justified because the man's personal integrity was at stake. On the other hand, I hope this doesn't set a precedent for other things. Could you imagine how many lawsuits there would be on 4chan? Or Reddit? Ugh.
     
  6. Mark

    Mark I'm Ron F***ing Swanson. LPA Administrator

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    Not to mention his well-being threatened.
     
  7. Will

    Will bread crumbs & white stones LPA Addicted VIP

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    That too. Threats are definitely a serious matter to consider.
     
  8. SuperDude526

    SuperDude526 Well-Known Member

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    Not to mention that whiny little bitches on online games send death threats to players who kick their asses all the time. I understand that this was a very different and very potentially threatening case, but it does begin a bit of a slippery slope.
     
  9. Jesse

    Jesse Out of the abyss. LPA Über VIP

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    In this particular case I do think that the disclosure of one's identity is justified, however I do believe it should be the exception rather than the rule.

    Imagine being a popular author (who isn't an asshole) who writes great books, if he/she were to have to give up his/her full name for every site they visit they'd not ever have any peace.
    Also it would render pseudonyms useless.
     
  10. Rocky

    Rocky Well-Known Member

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    I usually don't like being the asshole, but...

    Brian Cormier is a pussy. He spent thousands of dollars to figure out who posted some slightly immature shit on Twitter with his name hashtagged....last year. Not a famous blog or anything, but someone on Twitter...and he wants Debow to pay his legal fees. Finding out his name? That's fine and dandy, especially if the guy keeps harassing you, but this doesn't sound like ongoing harassment at all.

    It just sounds like a guy that spent thousands of dollars to find out the name of somebody who made a sarcastic threat to him online...last fall. It takes a huge lack of testosterone and self-esteem to do this. If the article was about a 17 year-old girl named Briana Cormier and her parents finding paying to find out who is harassing her, I would have no problems with this.

    I'm still shaking my head.
     
  11. Mark

    Mark I'm Ron F***ing Swanson. LPA Administrator

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    Looks like it was an escalating problem with threats to his personal safety. What from this article gave you any indication that his actions weren't justified?
     
  12. travz21

    travz21 Muscle Museum LPA Super Member

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    There weren't threats to his personal safety. Just vague interpretations of it. Even if the dude directly said he's going to show up and kick your ass, so what? You don't know who's posting this stuff. You don't know if he's a 10 year old girl, a 70 year old man, or an MMA fighter. He could live halfway across the world. If everyone took internet smack talk as seriously as Cormier, almost everyone would be cowering in the corning fearing for their safety.

    Cyberbullying is being played out so hard in order to win over support for the government sweeping in and taking it over. In reality, cyberbullying is nothing like real bullying. Real bullies are unavoidable. You see them at school or at work - places you have to be. They torment you or abuse you and there's not a whole lot you can do to avoid them since you need to work or go to school. This unavoidableness is where their power comes from and why it can destroy your life. Cyberbullies don't have that power. Every social networking and chat site allows you to block people. If things get really bad, you can always shut off your computer, walk away for a few minutes, and you'll never see them again. You can avoid these assholes. The moment it stops becoming cyberbullying is when they actually directly affect your real life, like if they showed up at your house or hacked your bank account or something like that. Every other bad thing they do to you is avoidable and is just part of the cruel nature of the internet. Just because some people let it affect them to the point of paranoia or depression doesn't mean that it's bullying. They can avoid these negatives of the internet if they know how to walk away from the problem. That's why it's so important for parents to be teaching their kids this kind of stuff.

    I had a cousin in middle school that was playing a multiplayer online about a year ago when I was watching over him while his parents were gone. I was watching TV, and all of a sudden I hear the keyboard being typed on harder and harder. I look over and he's turning red in the face. I asked him what's up, and he says these guys are making fun of him. I asked him why that bothered him so much if he didn't know who these guys were. I said these guys don't know anything about you and are just saying things to hurt your feelings or make you mad. I said I know it's clearly bothering you, so if you really enjoy this game, why don't you just ignore these guys who don't know what they're talking about. I told him if you don't want to turn off your chat or ignore people, if you start getting angry or sad because of these computer people again, just walk away for a couple minutes and they will go away. I said there's no reason you have to let someone on the computer make you feel bad about yourself. Just get up and do something else you like for a little while and just remind yourself that these stupid people who try and make you feel bad don't know anything about you. I said they are just insecure people who like to make fun of others to make themselves feel better. I told him he's a really cool kid and anyone would be stupid to make fun of him.

    He seemed to understand and just turned the chat off. I told him this applies to your classmates at school, too. I said you don't have to let someone make your life miserable. If you can't walk away from them, go and tell a teacher or your parents that they won't leave you alone.


    Long story short, cyberbullying is a misleading term. It has nothing to do with bullying. It's just people being assholes online (which will never change) and the recipients not knowing how to handle it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2012
  13. Listen, I had someone hack into my facebook and publicly release my pictures and personal information. I became extremely humiliated and I couldn't do anything about it. I couldn't simply turn off the screen; I was so worried that people would torment me even more (which fortunately did not happen).

    Cyberbullying can be infact worse than bullying. It can scar someone in a much different way.
     
  14. Rocky

    Rocky Well-Known Member

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    1. It's Twitter, and if the breaking point for Cormier was a sarcastic threat that apparently only warrants an apology from Debow...that is seriously a shitty waste of thousands of dollars that he doesn't deserve back.

    That is ridiculously different from the above case. Hacking is not bullying.
     
  15. travz21

    travz21 Muscle Museum LPA Super Member

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    That isn't cyberbullying then. Hacking infringes your property and is an act of aggression. This has effects on your life directly caused by their actions. A troll making fun of you or smack talking isn't either of those. This is where the line needs to be drawn. Someone committing an actual crime should not be lumped together as a cyberbully with trolls or classmates calling each other names just because they both happen online. Even these trolls that result in having people kill themselves or go on wild goose chases don't directly cause this.

    Lumping everything together is the reason bills like SOPA, PIPA, and The Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act gain traction. Cyberbullying is the reason this internet regulation craze is blowing up and gaining support.
     
  16. Mark

    Mark I'm Ron F***ing Swanson. LPA Administrator

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    How exactly was it sarcastic? This isn't a matter of being too sensitive. Not only did DeBow libel Cormier, he threatened to show up at a public event to inflict physical harm upon him.

    Assumedly this is a man with a wife and kids. How does he know this person isn't mentally unstable and intends to follow through on his threats? He had enough information about Cormier's personal life to know where to find him. Wouldn't you be concerned about someone who knows a little too much about you uttering threats about finding you in public? Wouldn't you go the extra mile if you felt it was a threat to your own and your family's safety?

    You are being way too dismissive over this. The answer isn't to just tell him to "man up". That's frat-boy reasoning.
     
  17. Rocky

    Rocky Well-Known Member

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    This isn't a matter of "This man is threatening to harm me and my family and I'm afraid and want him in jail". This is a matter of "This man is being an asshole to me on my blog and twitter and made a comment suggesting that he wants to fight me...or yell shit at me through a megaphone...I wanna know his name, I want an apology, and I want him to pay me the thousands of dollars that I spent to find out who he is". There is nothing in the article to suggest that there had been anymore contact between the two since October and Cormier spent 5 months trying to find out who Debow was during that time. So was Cormier feeling threatened for 5 months? After finding out who Debow was, why did he not want to file anything against him?

    He wasn't really all that threatened and spent thousands to expose a troll. The mofo even called the man's job and is the supposed reason why Debow doesn't have one right now. Brian is fine. He destroyed a troll. It just happened to cost money to do so. It just sounds like Brian doesn't think that the money spent was worth it. That would be his loss.
     
  18. Mark

    Mark I'm Ron F***ing Swanson. LPA Administrator

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    The last quote mentioned in the article was from October, but it doesn't say it was the last correspondance between the two parties. In fact, DeBow began libelling Cormier in October.

    I guess the overarching point here is that at a certain point trolling becomes harassment. When you threaten the physical well-being of a person and make it known you have plans to confront them in public, knowing intimate details of this person's life, you lose your right to anonymity. It's just like trying to track down someone who has been calling you and harassing you. I fully believe Cormier has the right to protect his professional reputation as well as his physical well-being in this case, and the judge clearly agrees with this. If someone is willing to spend the money to find out who their harasser is, then that's up to them.
     
  19. Has

    Has New Member

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    Just because Cormier says there was threats to his personal safety, doesn't mean there was. Read the actual twitter comments. There really aren't that many of them and the only threat was that he was going to publicize Cormier's unethical behavior to his Rotary group. Which never happened. Cormier reported ProfessorTanked to a company just because he sent him an email disagreeing with Cormier's post. The email had nothing to do with his job- but Cormier wanted to attack ProfessorTanked for daring to disagree with him. Some people would consider that to be unethical behaviour- definitely not the openminded, allowing freedom of speech behaviour that you would expect from a newspaper journalist.

    Cormier threatened lots of stuff too. For one, Cormier threatened to 'expose' ProfessorTanked to everyone if ProfessorTanked didnt pay his legal costs. "Following the receipt of his identity, my lawyer and I prepared a letter dated April 4, 2012, demanding compensation, an apology, the removal of his account and a number of other requests from Mr. DeBow." Note that the court already deemed Cormier's claim did not deserve to be awarded fees. Cormier even stated "Justice McNally ordered both of us to pay our own court fees."

    What do you call it when someone threatens to expose your personal information unless you pay money? Hmmm.. I think the word is blackmail? Maybe extortion is a better word? Regardless of what you call it, that's what Cormier did. Its beyond bullying. When other people do that, they go to jail. He is lucky DeBow didn't take that email to the police. Debow refuses the threat, and Cormier says he isn't taking the situation <threat> seriously so Cormier is just to publicly humiliate and ruin Debow's reputation? Cormier- you are lucky he didnt take that seriously. Meanwhile, Cormier deliberately writes a post to publicize DeBows name ALL over the internet, lying and misleading, painting DeBow as the bully and twisting everything DeBow did do, because DeBow refused to pay Cormier money to shut Cormier up.

    What we have here is a bully pretending he is the bully, in order to further bully. Read the actual twitter comments yourself with an open mind.
     
  20. Has

    Has New Member

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    There was NO threat of physical harm. Only a threat to say things publicly through a mouth piece or megaphone. That is in no way physical harm.

    Its not libel if what DeBow say was true. DeBow's posts on twitter say that Cormier contacted DeBow's employer and got him fired for disagreeing with Cormier. Cormier's own blog states that he did that. So there is no libel- Cormier admitted it himself. DeBow has the right to react and voice his opinion on Cormier's actions. That is what DeBow did.
     

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