MUMSNET, THE HOME of interminable parental gossip and the serial revealer of politicians' questionable biscuit-eating habits (a Jaffa Cake is not a biscuit, Mr Miliband), has found itself hit with a surprise court order.
Stephanie Hayden, a transgender rights activist, has managed to convince the High Court to compel Mumsnet to reveal all the pertinent details it holds on an alleged troll. The Times reports that although the posts of the accused - the tweely named "ALittleHelp18" - have been deleted, they contained "allegations of criminality".
"The days of defaming, abusing, and harassing transgender people on Mumsnet behind the cloak of anonymity are over," Hayden tweeted, with a picture of her court order.
PLEASE RT: Today I have obtained a Court Order compelling Mumsnet Limited @MumsnetTowers to release the identification details of one of their users. The days of defaming, abusing, And harassing #transgender people on #Mumsnet behind the cloak of anonymity are over, #law pic.twitter.com/702YMg4vts— Stephanie Hayden (@flyinglawyer73) April 8, 2019
The order compels Mumsnet to reveal ALittleHelp18's full name, address, email address and birth date by 4pm on 11 April. Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts told The Times that the site won't be opposing the application, saying: "Clearly, if we thought the details we released might be used maliciously, we would be happy to contest the order if one of our users asked us to do so."
It's an open question as to how much of this information Mumsnet actually holds, and much depends on the nature of the account in question. If ALittleHelp18 was created purely to post defamatory material, then it seems unlikely that the account holder would fill in details like their real name and address. Come to think of it, what kind of person feels comfortable putting their real name on a forum at all, no matter their intent?
What we're saying is we wouldn't be hugely surprised if legal summons are being whisked to one I.P Freely of 123 Fake Street, Fakeland, Faketopia at 16:01 today. µ
It's the week in Google news
Erik Estrada wouldn't have stood for this
Hacks in support of WikiLeaks founder target gov websites