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Brit judge orders Facebook to rip masks from anonymous cowards

Hey, real names are part of our culture ... bitch

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A 45-year-old woman from Brighton who was subjected to a litany of abusive messages on Facebook has won a landmark High Court order forcing the social network to reveal the identities of anonymous internet trolls who labelled her a paedophile and a drug dealer.

The Guardian reported on Friday that Nicola Brookes had received "vicious and depraved" taunts on Facebook, following a comment she had posted on the site in support of axed X Factor contestant Frankie Cocozza.

Brookes' victory in court means she can now bring a private prosecution against at least four alleged cyberbullies. Facebook has to reveal the names, email and IP addresses of those said to be behind the malicious messages on the site.

The landmark order was granted on 30 May but it needs to be served on Facebook in the US where the company stores its data.

Facebook gave The Register this statement:

Nothing is more important to us than the safety of the people that use our service. Unlike many other websites and forums Facebook has a real name culture, which provides greater accountability and a safer and more trusted environment.

We are clear that there is no place for bullying or harassment on Facebook and we respond aggressively to reports of potential abuse. We provide our users with the tools to report abuse on every page and the option to block people from having any further contact with them. Reports involving harassment are prioritised, reviewed by a trained team of reviewers and removed if they violate our terms.

The law firm representing Brookes, Bains Cohen, has more details about the case here. ®

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