When And Why An Editor Gives Up Commentors

Kyle Shaw, the editor of Halifax alt-weekly the Coast, wrote a letter explaining how they dealt with their recent legal situation. As reported on April 14, they were forced by a court order to surrender information on some of the commentors on their website. Google also had to follow suit.

In the letter, Shaw explains the paper side of things pretty thoroughly:

People often approach The Coast asking for IP addresses so they can try to get hold of a member of our online community. No matter the reason—from Who is my secret admirer? to Who do I sue?—if we just handed over the info we’d probably be violating privacy laws. So in this case we gave the standard answer: That is information related to our business, and we won’t share unless you get a court order. Soon enough we were in court, where Supreme Court Justice M. Heather Robertson granted the order forcing us to surrender the IP information.

You can read the whole thing here.

Author: James Brotheridge

Contributing Editor with Prairie Dog.