Monday, November 9, 2009

Anonymous blog commenters - not so safe

All those anonymous blog and news article commenters who have felt so free with their nasty and threatening comments might have a hard time sleeping tonight, after they read the following article on the Daily Herald's website at

Village of Buffalo Grove Trustee Lisa Stone has persuaded a Chicago judge to require to reveal the name of an anonymous commenter. For sure, Hipcheck16 will be tossing and turning all night.

The judge did put some restrictions on the disclosure of Hipcheck16's identity. It can be given only to Stone, her attorneys and Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart.

So, will Stone be found in contempt of court, if her attorneys file a lawsuit against Hipcheck16 and tell the Clerk of the Court who he is? And what if Sheriff Dart reveals the name to a process server who is serve the legal papers on Hipcheck16?

Is this all just a contribution to the Lawyers' Relief and Retirement Fund?

What if someone buys the Northwest Herald and changes its policy about protection of the identity of news article commenters? I can just hear the screams now. Gotcha!


ace said...

Yes you are safe, when your computer virtually doesnt exist!!!!! There are ways to be anonymous to people like yourself who cant handle reactions to your half-baked "reports". Everytime someone calls you a name you go crying to the cops like a child. How would you handle criticism as a sheriff? You can dream, but come back in live in reality.

Curious1 said...

This will be an interesting story to follow. As I've said before even though I disagree with Gus on some local politics I respect that he puts in self out here in this public manner.

I consciously make all my posts with the assumption that a sensitive persons attorney will learn my identity. I'm comfortable with that fact. However as a parent of young children and a non-political spouse I choose to stay anonymous because there are those indecent enough to go after families to get at an individual. I will re-evaluate that decision as my kids grow up, but for now my choice is to not make that choice for them. Simply too many crazies out there.

Debra said...

I don't care who knows my identity when I post on NWH. But my moniker is meant to be sarcastic and my name is just a name. I love the cleaver names that people use. As for the Hipchick, her comments where not published that I know of so who knows... she may be right on the mark. HA! Some people just can't handle the truth.

Gus said...

I don't think the Buffalo Grove woman's issue is "truth". More like threatening or malicious comments.

The veil of anonymity can be pierced; it's tough to do and expensive.

I took a cyberstalking complaint to the McHenry County State's Attorney's Office. When they re-contacted the Woodstock Police Department about conducting an investigation, the online threats immediately dried up.

You can draw your own conclusion about why they quickly stopped.

Whitmore2 said...

If the Herald changes its privacy policy, I doubt it would be retroactive.

Karen12359 said...

I have my own personal policy when commenting on blogs or in the paper. Never write anything you're not willing to say to a persons face, and be prepared to back up any statements you make. If it's an opinion, stand by it, and never utter threats.