It is so easy to sit down at your computer, iPad, or smart phone and vent your aggression, anger, or frustration by posting negative or false comments about someone else. In order to protect yourself, you create a special gmail address containing a name that is not in any way related to you. You use this gmail address to create an account on Yelp, ComplaintsBoard.com, RipOffReport.com, Google, or some other platform. You then set to work, flaming the person who is the target of your anger and frustration with all kinds of statements that you know will hurt their reputation.
You think you are very clever. You smile knowing how smart you really are. You feel anonymous and powerful. But guess what? An internet defamation attorney such as myself can find out who you are. Chances are, you have left digital clues as to your identity in the defamatory post itself or related to the account you created so cleverly to remain anonymous. But even if a good internet and technology attorney cannot quickly identify you from your digital trail, I could always send a subpoena to the platform on which you posted. Chances are, they have your IP address which will tell me what internet connection you used in order to post anonymously. From there, I can subpoena the internet service provider to find out who owns the account through which you accessed the internet. Assuming that doesn’t reveal your identity, I can always identify the computer used on the account to access the internet and trace it directly to you. You are no longer anonymous.
Sometimes, it is important to take a step back and take a big breath of fresh air. Do not let your anger and frustration compel you to do something you will later regret. While posting false and defamatory information is as easy as starting up your laptop, or turning on your smartphone, the damage that can be done to both you and the target of your frustration can last a lifetime. Even the best computer hackers in the world can often be traced and identified. Chances are, you don’t qualify as a world class hacker. I will find you. You will have to answer for the comments that were made online.
If you have any questions about how to identify an anonymous person on the internet, feel free to give one of our internet, technology, and defamation lawyers a call today.