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Anonymous internet users sued


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A dozen individuals have been ordered to pay thousands of dollars in damages for defamatory statements they made in an internet chat forum, even though the plaintiffs don't know who they are and collecting will likely prove difficult.

The judgment in Ontario Superior Court of Justice comes despite the difficulties in suing people who post inflammatory comments anonymously, and who then fail to respond to the resulting legal proceedings against them.

What it does make clear, however, is that anonymity and failure to respond do not necessarily preclude a case from proceeding, or a court from awarding damages.

"If people want to make hurtful statements about others and then try to hide from the responsibility to prove the truth or other justification for doing so ... their cowardice is reprehensible," Justice Frederick Myers said in his judgment released Monday.

- Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press


anyone get sued yet?

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