A Texas judge has ordered an online news site to unveil identifying details about 178 anonymous commenters on the site. The order came after a couple, Mark and Rhonda Lesher, sued the numerous anonymous commenters posting to Topix.com for making what they considered to be "perverted, sick, vile, inhumane accusations" about them.
The Leshers were originally thrust into the Texas spotlight in 2008 after being accused of sexually assaulting an unidentified former client of Mark Lesher. That's when thousands of comments began piling up on the community news aggregator Topix to discuss the sexual assault charges. As with most things on the Internet, many Topix users felt free to let loose with nasty comments about the Leshers.
A lefty lawmaker here in North Carolina has introduced an Internet Libel Bill is acting as the stalking horse for fellow lawmakers plagued by bloggers, and you can read about it at the Mountain Xpress, and the ensuing discussion is, a lefty version of the infamous AC-T Topix.