Facebook to reveal cyberbullies who harassed woman

The social network will release the identities of the Facebook members who bullied a U.K. woman online over comments she made about a a TV show contestant.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

Facebook will comply with an order from the U.K.'s High Court to reveal the identities of cyberbullies who targeted a woman with abusive comments.

Nicola Brookes appealed to the court after she was falsely labeled a pedophile and drug dealer by fellow Facebook members who set up a fake profile page of her on the site, according to the Guardian. The abuse allegedly started after Brookes posted a comment supporting a contestant on the British TV show "X Factor."

The order, which Facebook has not yet received since it must physically be delivered in the U.S., requires the company to reveal the names, e-mail addresses, and IP addresses of the people who launched the abusive messages. Facebook confirmed with BBC News that it would comply with the order and turn over the requested information on the members.

CNET contacted Facebook for comment and will update the story when we get more details.

The company did issue the following statement to the Guardian:

"There is no place for harassment on Facebook, but unfortunately a small minority of malicious individuals exist online, just as they do offline. We respect our legal obligations and work with law enforcement to ensure that such people are brought to justice."

This case could very well establish a precedent as the Guardian believes it to be the first in which an individual was able to legally force Facebook to reveal the names of members involved in cyberbullying.

Once she learns their identities, Brookes plans to file a lawsuit against at least four of her alleged abusers.

"I want them exposed. They exposed me and they invaded my life," she told the Guardian. "I didn't ask for it. They wanted a reaction from me and now they have got it."