New York Personal Injury Law Blog » Blogging, Defamation, First Amendment


March 15th, 2007

Anonymous New York Blogger To Be Sued For Defamation

From today’s New York Sun:

An Orthodox Jewish blogger is asking a judge to protect her anonymity from a Long Island elected official who has gone to court to identity the blogger.

The elected official, Pamela Greenbaum, a member of the school board for Lawrence, L.I., asked a state judge last month to force Google to identify the writer behind a popular Web log for the orthodox community in the Five Towns area.

The blog,, featured a posting in January critical of Ms. Greenbaum’s position regarding the use by yeshiva students of public school facilities. In guest comments to the postings, Ms. Greenbaum has been called a “bigot.” [link via Judicial Reports]

This seems to be a suit that goes nowhere, if being called a “bigot” is the sole issue, since that seems to be an opinion. Additional facts were not available at the New York Sun site (but are at links below).

It is worth pointing out here that anonymous speech is well protected under the First Amendment in accordance with the Supreme Court’s ruling in McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission. The country has a long history of anonymous speech in the form of books and pamphlets, including the Federalist Papers first published as “Publius.” Check out footnotes 4 and 6 of the Stevens majority opinion for some anonymous writings later attributed to historic figures.

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