Does that headline make some of you trolls a tad concerned that the bridge is collapsing down on top of you? Because it is, so stop being so nasty! Okay, we're bluffing, but not completely: Six commenters on a website about Elizabeth, Pennsylvania could have their identities revealed within a month, after a judge ruled in favor of Township Supervisor Thomas DeRosa, who is trying to determine who defamed him on the site's online bulletin board. The ACLU had been fighting on behalf of the commenters, but recently decided not to appeal and has turned over their I.P. addresses.
It's unclear exactly what the commenters wrote about DeRosa, but the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the comments were "related to his actions as a township supervisor and accused him of corruption and damaged his reputation." The effort to expose his tormentors isn't over yet for DeRosa; now his lawyers must petition the Internet service providers to release the names. Those companies are required to notify the individuals that their identities are being sought, and these people have the right to file legal action to stop their names from being released.
Still, the owner of the website, elizabethboro.com, fears that the ruling will ruin the Internet, and tells the Post-Gazette, "It's going to send a big rippling effect through every discussion board and make people afraid to post." Which is exactly what happened when Google was forced to unmask that "Skanks in NYC blogger," who had created a site to trash former model Liskula Cohen. Before that ruling, you'll recall that Internet was like the Wild Wild West—now it's just a bunch of boring fuddy-duddys politely commenting in accordance with Robert's Rules of Order.