Model unmasks anonymous blogger, says she forgives her
NEW YORK — A magazine model whose effort to unmask an anonymous blogger has been watched by privacy and free-speech advocates alike, has finally confronted the woman who called her offensive names on Google’s Blogger.com.
Liskula Cohen, who successfully sued Google to unmask the blogger, said on “Good Morning America” today that she had called her tormentor and told her she forgave her.
Cohen did not reveal the blogger's name but said she was an acquaintance whom Cohen saw at parties and restaurants.
The anonymous remarks targeting Cohen's hygiene and sexual habits were posted on Blogger.com in August 2008 in a blog titled “Skanks in NYC.”
The blogger's lawyer, Anne Salisbury, had argued that although the comments may have been disgusting, they were opinions and protected as free speech.
A New York trial judge rejected that argument on Aug. 17, ruling that Google must turn over any identifying information about the blog's creator.
CNN.com reported that Cohen attorney Steven Wagner said Google complied on Aug. 18 with Supreme Court Judge Joan Madden’s ruling, submitting the blogger's IP address and e-mail address.
Madden wrote: “The court also rejects the Anonymous Blogger’s argument that this court should find as a matter of law that Internet blogs serve as a modern day forum for conveying personal opinions, including invective and ranting, and that the statements in this action when considered in context, cannot be reasonably understood as factual assertions.”
CNN.com reported that Salisbury said the ruling had “potentially damaging implications for free speech on the Internet.”
The Vogue cover girl says she has not ruled out suing the blogger for defamation for allegedly damaging her reputation and her livelihood.