Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1481280
 
 

Citations (2)



 
 

Footnotes (113)



 


 



Anonymity in Cyberspace: What Can We Learn from John Doe?


Lyrissa Barnett Lidsky


University of Florida - Levin College of Law


Boston College Law Review, Vol. 50, p. 1, 2009
University of Florida Levin College of Law Research Paper No. 2009-37

Abstract:     
This Article examines the evolution of the law governing libel suits against anonymous “John Doe” defendants based on Internet speech. Between 1999 and 2009, courts crafted new First Amendment doctrines to protect Internet speakers from having their anonymity automatically stripped away upon the filing of a libel action. Courts also adapted existing First Amendment protections for hyperbole, satire and other non-factual speech to protect the distinctive discourse of Internet message boards. Despite these positive developments, the current state of the law is unsatisfactory. Because the scope of protection for anonymous Internet speech varies greatly by jurisdiction, resourceful plaintiffs can make strategic use of libel law to silence their critics. Meanwhile, plaintiffs who are truly harmed by cybersmears will find little effective recourse in libel law. Though disheartening, the current state of the law may be a testament to the difficulty of balancing speech and reputation in the Internet age.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 20

Keywords: First Amendment, internet, defamation, John Doe, libel, cyberslapp, cybersmear, reputation, cyberspace

Accepted Paper Series


Download This Paper

Date posted: October 5, 2009 ; Last revised: May 6, 2010

Suggested Citation

Lidsky, Lyrissa Barnett, Anonymity in Cyberspace: What Can We Learn from John Doe?. Boston College Law Review, Vol. 50, p. 1, 2009; University of Florida Levin College of Law Research Paper No. 2009-37. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1481280

Contact Information

Lyrissa Barnett Lidsky (Contact Author)
University of Florida - Levin College of Law ( email )
P.O. Box 117625
Gainesville, FL 32611-7625
United States
352.392.2211 (Phone)
352.392.3005 (Fax)
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 1,274
Downloads: 237
Download Rank: 73,354
Citations:  2
Footnotes:  113

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo6 in 0.281 seconds