Delaware Supreme Court Protects Anonymous Blogging… Sort Of

from the almost,-but-not-quite dept

It’s likely that many in the blogging world are going to overreact positively to the news that the Delaware Supreme Court has ruled in favor of an anonymous blogger, protecting his identity against defamation charges from a local politician. However, there are some specifics to the ruling that might not make this as big a “win” as some will undoubtedly claim. First, it’s obviously a state Supreme Court, so the it doesn’t cover beyond the state of Delaware. While the blogger’s lawyer hit on the relevant point that the standard for defamation may be somewhat different on blogs, as more readers don’t consider them “credible” sources, that doesn’t appear to be the point that the court ruled on. Instead (at least according to this article), they focused on the fact that the blog allowed comments, meaning that the upset politicians could “respond to the same audience.” This is a bit strange and makes you wonder what the justices would have said if there weren’t comments on the blog — as many blogs don’t allow comments (or heavily moderate them). So, now, does this mean (in Delaware) leaving open comments on your blog protects you from defamation charges? That seems unlikely.

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