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High Court backs Facebook cyber bullying victim

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, 08 Jun 2012News

Internet trolls have been sent another firm message by Britain's courts, after the High Court in London ruled in favour of an East Sussex resident bidding to unmask the online tormentors who targeted her on Facebook.

An order has been granted forcing the social network to reveal the IP addresses and any other information held pertaining to the people who abused Brighton mum Nicola Brookes, 45, within four weeks.

Ms Brookes, who suffers from Crohn's disease and is house bound as a result, faced a torrent of abuse on Facebook after she posted a message in support of former controversial X Factor contestant Frankie Cocozza.

"I'm going for the strongest possible prosecution against these people. I want them exposed. They exposed me and they invaded my life," she said.

The anonymous bullies set up a fake profile on the site using Ms Brookes name and picture, proceeding to falsely represent her as a paedophile and drug dealer, sending explicit messages to young girls.

Her solicitor, Rupinder Bains, also alleges that the trolls followed her on to a recipe forum she posted on to continue the abuse, as well as leaking her home address.

The single mother initially took her complaint to the local Sussex Police force, but was frustrated by what she considered a lack of action. She subsequently took the matter to one of the highest courts in the land, who have now instructed Menlo Park to act.

Sussex Police said that they had asked Facebook to remove the offensive posts, with a spokesperson adding: "Officers examine any such allegations of bullying, harassment or malicious communication and every case in taken seriously."

Facebook has indicated it intends to comply with the court order in line with California law and reiterated its commitment to tackling trolls via a spokesman:  "There is no place for harassment on Facebook. We respect our legal obligations to ensure that such people are brought to justice,"

The ruling comes on the back of a recent series of high-profile online troll prosecutions.

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