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Greenbaum v. Google

Topic(s): Internet Free Speech - Right To Speak Anonymously
Status: open
Date Of Involvement: 02/18/2007

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On the eve of her campaign for re-election, a member of the school board in Lawrence, New York, filed a petition for prelitigation discovery to identify "Orthomom" and people who used the Orthomom blog to post criticisms of the board member's position in opposition to public funding for the extracurricular activities of children attending private religious schools. Some commenters had called the member a "bigot" for opposing the funding. Public Citizen represents Orthomom in arguing that a blogger cannot be held liable for comments posted on her blog by others, and that in any event the comments are not defamatory and compelled identification would violate her First Amendment right, and the right of her web site's users, to speak anonymously. The trial judge granted the Doe’s motion to quash.