Facebook to unmask anonymous Dutch user accused of repeated defamatory posts

upnorth

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Jul 27, 2015
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Starting today, Facebook users may feel a little less safe posting anonymously. The Court of the Hague in The Netherlands ruled that Meta Ireland must unmask an anonymous user accused of defaming the claimant, a male Facebook user who allegedly manipulated and made secret recordings of women he dated.

The anonymous Facebook user posted the allegedly defamatory statements in at least two private Facebook groups dedicated to discussing dating experiences. The claimant could not gain access but was shown screenshots from the groups, one with about 2,600 members and one with around 61,000 members. The claimant argued that his reputation had suffered from the repeated postings that included photos of the man and alleged screenshots of his texts. The claimant tried to get Meta to remove the posts, but Meta responded with an email saying that it would not do so because "it is not clear to us that the content you reported is unlawful as defamation." At that point, Meta suggested that the man contact the anonymous user directly to resolve the matter, triggering the lawsuit against Meta.
When a Facebook user posts anonymously, it has never truly been anonymous, of course. Facebook's policy stipulates that "your name and profile picture will still be visible to the group’s admins and moderators, as well as to Facebook, in order to help keep groups safe and in compliance with our Community Standards."
 

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