A Halifax judge has ruled that Google and a weekly newspaper have to turn over names and accounts of people who posted comments on a story in the paper about racism in the fire department. The fire chief and other senior fire officials want to pursue legal action against some of the people who submitted comments on-line about the story. The issue isn’t the story; it’s the comments readers posted in response to it. There’s always been a bit of juvenalia in these post, seen in comments like “(insert name of hockey player here) YouSuck! they should put you and you’re stupid family back on the boat to Russia.” A lot more media these days are moderating these comments, for these reasons; everyone on the net should be moderating feedback to their comments.
Justice Heather Robertson of Nova Scotia Supreme Court swiftly granted the uncontested application Wednesday, noting the Internet shouldn’t provide any cover from legal actions.
The Canadian Press, April 14 2010