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Internet Trolls Beware: U.K. Passes Law Requiring Facebook & Twitter To Release Information On Trolls; Will The US Be Next?
How many times have you left a comment on a blog, made a tweet or commented on a Facebook status only to be bum rushed by a slew of anonymous trolls spewing hateful comments and threats? Well, all of that is about to change…at least for the U.K.
Today marked the first day of the passing of a law that would require popular sites like Twitter and Facebook to release information on internet trolls and bullies or suffer hefty fines and litigation. Under these laws, the website would be protected from legal actions taken out by victims of abuse and internet bullying – provided they fork over the information of the trolling source.
For those who may be unfamiliar with the term “troll”. A troll is a person who goes from site to site with the intention of sparking drama, making threats and leaving hateful comments.
According to The Daily Mail, Justice Secretary Ken Clarke released the following statement,
Last night, Mr Clarke said: ‘As the law stands, individuals can be the subject of scurrilous rumor and allegation on the web with little meaningful remedy against the person responsible.
‘Website operators are in principle liable as publishers for everything that appears on their sites, even though the content is often determined by users.
‘But most operators are not in a position to know whether the material posted is defamatory or not and very often, faced with a complaint, they will immediately remove material.
Our proposed approach will mean that website operators have a defense against libel as long as they identify the authors of allegedly defamatory material when requested to do so by a complainant.’
The proposals are included in the Defamation Bill, which will be debated by MPs today.
The new powers will be balanced by proposals to stop people falsely claiming critical articles are defamatory simply to get them removed.
To read more about the law click here.
How do you feel about this law and do you think that the United States could benefit from having such laws in place? Or do you think that this law would simply be something else to clog up the courts with?