Twitter legal case reaction

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A LANDMARK legal decision to unmask anonymous “bloggers” has been welcomed by Scarborough Council leader Tom Fox.

The case involves South Tyneside Council, who went to court in California after three councillors and an official complained they were libelled on Twitter by somebody called “Mr Monkey”.

They won the case and Twitter is now compelled to release the true identity of the individual to the council.

Cllr Fox said he was delighted to hear the news.

He said: “I’ve followed this with great interest and I think it’s a landmark decision and a very important case.

“Too many people are prepared to beaver away anonymously using a pseudonym and hide behind that.

“People do have the right to say things, but they have to be right, otherwise it can be very damaging.

“Anyone who is spreading misinformation and sometimes deliberate lies needs to be brought to account.”

The move has also been welcomed by Scarborough entertainer Tony Peers, who has been the subject of false allegations online in the past.

He said: “I think revealing people’s identity is absolutely the right thing to do.

“People are entitled to their opinions, but I don’t think it’s fair that people can write under pseudonyms and say things that are not true.

“They should have the courage to put their name to it as comments like this can be very damaging to someone’s reputation.”

In the South Tyneside case, allegations had been made of corruption, sexual deviancy and drug use.

One of the councillors named was David Potts, who called it “a deeply tawdry, perverted and seedy little blog”.

Evening News editor Ed Asquith said: “We are happy to receive internet comments on all subjects and news developments because we are at the front of public debate in Scarborough, and our website is an important platform for a range of opinion. But we do urge people to comment responsibly because they can be held to account, even if they use a nickname or nom de plume for their identity.”