Facebook Forced to Uncover Identities in UK Cyberbullying Case

As reported in PC Magazine today, positive step was taken against cyberbullying in the UK when a High Court ruling was won by Nicola Brookes to force Facebook to divulge the IP addresses of individuals harassing her on Facebook with false posts and fake profiles.

The UK High Court issued its ruling in favor of Nicola Brookes, a 45-year-old Brighton resident, who brought suit following a barrage of harassing posts and the creation of a fake Facebook profile used by someone else to send damaging posts to others. The false posts claimed, among other things, that Brookes was a pedophile and a drug dealer.

In Brookes suit, she claimed that the abuse began after she posted a Facebook message in support of a reality TV show contestant. The Facebook attacks then ensued, escalating to the point of someone creating a fake profile which was used to send explicit messages to girls.

Facebook in its defense claimed it could not simply hand over the IP addresses without a court order. Brookes alleged that Facebook was "more than a witness to the harassment, but is in fact involved in the wrongdoing, albeit innocently."

Brookes' problems do not end with the handover of the IP addresses and basic subscriber information, as she will still need to research each in order to take further legal action to find out who is actually connected to each individual IP address.

Brookes is reported to be considering private prosecution against at least four people involved.