U.K. Facebook user Nicola Brooks had some strong opinions about a contestant on the singing competition reality show “X-Factor” and made some comments on Facebook that another fan, a police officer, did not agree with. Instead of participating in a civil discussion like everyone else on the Internet does (kidding, of course), this police officer created fake Facebook accounts to disparage Brookes, calling her everything from a child abuser to a prostitute.
Eventually, the officer published Brookes’ home address on one of the fake accounts, and she decided it was finally time to take legal action. She won a High Court Judgment in June that required the names and email and IP addresses of the fake profiles to be revealed. This order led to the arrest of the police officer responsible.
The Guardian received a statement from the West Midlands police force, saying that “The investigation is ongoing by Sussex police, and the allegations do not relate to use of police systems. The officer has not been suspended. The officer is not a frontline officer.”
A new bill has been proposed in the U.K. that could dramatically curtail online bullying and trolling by making it quicker and easier to obtain the identities and IP addresses of Internet defamers.
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