Will Facebook be Forced to Name Cyber Bullies?

Author: Adi Gaskell
Published: June 08, 2012 at 7:25 am

cyber bullyingThe massive growth in use of social networking sites such as Facebook has seen a parallel rise in the number of people that take to these sites in order to bully others.

A major reason behind this is that often the bully is anonymous as they do their damage behind a username.  A court in Britain has however struck a blow for victims the world over this week.

The Guardian reveal how Nicola Brookes, a victim of cyber bullying, has won a court case ordering Facebook to reveal the identity of the people who sent her abusive messages on Facebook recently.

The bullies had setup fake profiles on the site in order to post comments after Brookes posted support for a contestant in a tv talent show.

Brookes now intends to prosecute the four individuals alleged to have trolled her online after Facebook was ordered to reveal their name, email and IP addresses, showing both who they are and where they were posting from.

It marks an interesting shift for Facebook, as earlier in the year they staunchly defended the privacy of users after some employers were demanding access to the Facebook accounts of job candidates.

Brookes told how she was targeted with abusive comments within an hour of posting about Cocozza, after the young singer was evicted from The X Factor last year.

"People were inciting hatred against me. They weren't just targeting me, they were also dragging young girls into it as well," she said.

It is suggested that if the details revealed by Facebook are not sufficient to identify the individuals that Brookes will demand action from their Internet Service Provider instead.

Facebook said in a statement: "There is no place for harassment on Facebook, but unfortunately a small minority of malicious individuals exist online, just as they do offline. We respect our legal obligations and work with law enforcement to ensure that such people are brought to justice."


About this article

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Article Author: Adi Gaskell

A writer on management issues for publications such as Professional Manager, CMI, HRM Today, Business Works and Technorati. I also cover social media for Social Media Today, DZone and Social Business News.

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