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There is a false report about me on Warning Report!

False report about me on this site! How Can I Get More Information About Someone Who Has Supposedly Defamed Me?

So you have read the long article about “How to sue Web Warning?” and probably have realised that there are laws protecting this website and it is not easy to sue us for something someone else has written on our website. What is your way now? Of course, as we have explained before, the law does NOT protect the original writer of the report and thus, you are free to sue the original author. But how to get the details of a person who has submitted a report anonymously.

We receive millions of comments published on Web Warning and sometimes we receive the request of revealing the details of the author who has published a report. Sometimes these reports carry a subpoena and sometimes they don't. Sometimes, an attorney sends those requests and sometimes a business owner or an average citizen sends us those.

As most of the people don't know the legal issues involving this and as we treat the right to privacy of our authors very highly, this page will explain our policy on how and when the true identity of an author might be revealed. This pages will answer the following questions.

  • Can Web Warning author remain anonymous to protect their privacy?

  • Will Web Warning ever release the original identity of any author?

  • How can an attorney get information on any particular author?

The First Amendment Offers The Right To Remain Anonymous To Ensure Free Speech.

Before anything else, it is important to understand a fundamental right, the First Amendment right of free speech includes the right of anonymity. This is not out standpoint, this is a principle which the Supreme Court of USA has upheld over the time, "an author's decision to remain anonymous, like other decisions concerning omissions or additions to the content of a publication, is an aspect of the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment." McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Comm'n, 514 U.S. 334, 341-42, 115 S.Ct. 1511, 1516, 131 L.Ed.2d 426, 436 (1995).

Why is it important? Because people who request for the real name of an author from us is requesting a doctor to reveal the medical records of his patients, someone with whom he is no way related or has no authority of seeing the report. This is private information and can't be handed over to someone upon request. You need to follow a series of steps to ensure that the other party is informed about this revelation and can take steps to protect his privacy. We will explain those steps in this page.

The Right To Anonymity Is Not Absolute.

Of course, this right is not absolute. For example, if someone posts a death threat to someone else, the First Amendment will not protect his rights. Moreover, the First Amendment doesn't protect false and defamatory statements.

We Will Not Give You An Author's Name Just Because Something In A Report Is Supposedly False Or Inaccurate.

Just because the First Amendment doesn't protect defamatory or false statements, that doesn't mean that you can obtain the true identity of an author by contacting Web Warning and claiming that something in a report is not accurate. We can not determine which of the parties is true so we can not and will not disregard the First Amendment rights of our users, depending upon one side of the story that something is inaccurate in a report. These issues must be presented to a court of law and only the judge will decide how to proceed with it.

So, what does this lead to? What do you must do to obtain the true identity of an author?

The Arizona Court of Appeals has the answer for you.

We hold that to obtain a court order compelling discovery of an anonymous internet speaker's identity, the requesting party must show that: (1) the speaker has been given adequate notice and a reasonable opportunity to respond to the discovery request, (2) the requesting party's cause of action could survive a motion for summary judgement on the elements of the claim not dependent on the identity of the anonymous speaker, and (3) a balance of the parties' competing interests favours disclosure.

Mobilisa v. Doe, 217 Ariz. 103, 114-15, 170 P.3d 712, 723-24 (App. 2007) (If you are interested, you can read the full Mobilisa case here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/76263546/Mobilisa-v-Doe-217-Ariz-103-170-P-3d-712-App-2007)

(note: court order quoted as is with no modification as modifying the same might have legal implications.)

How To Get A Subpoena For Author Information

As Web Warning operates out of XXXX and all our business records are also kept in XXXX, we need that any request for information regarding an author must abide by XXXX laws and that means that you are meeting the standards as presented by the court order above. It means that if you need the real identity of an author, you need to take each of the following steps.

  1. Post a rebuttal notice to each report for which you need the information on the original author. We don't offer this service so please don't request us. This notice must clearly spell out that you have initiated a court proceeding to know the author's identity and should carry a case number and also the name and address of the court so that the original author can appear before the court and defend his rights.

  2. Give the author reasonable time to respond to your notice.

  3. If the original author fails to respond to your notice, you might obtain a subpoena for Web Warning from a XXXX court which describes the information you need. You don't need long legal phrases or twisted words and a simple and clear request will serve us fine. For example, this is a great statement for a subpoena, "Please share complete author information for the author of Report #78965." Please mention this report number in your subpoena. Please include your working email address in the subpoena as a missing email address will delay the information sharing considerably.  Your subpoena must also show the possibility of your defamation claim can withstand a motion for summary judgement. For this effect, you must include a declaration of the plaintiff or the representative of the plaintiff which clearly states that the statements of a particular report which you claim to be false or is other forms of admissible evidence and why you claim those statements to be false. Personal servicing of the subpoena is needed. You can send the subpoena to our statutory agent in XXXX : Address line Address line Address line Address line Address line Address line Address line Address line Address line.

  4. Web Warning will review the subpoena so see a) whether it complies with the local laws, b) whether you have properly sent it and c) whether the mentioned statements are actually actionable defamation. For a statement to be actionable defamation, it can be objectively judged to be true or false. Opinions, for example, can't be defamatory. Web Warning will communicate with you in written whether we are complying with the subpoena or we have objections against it.

  5. Due to the time and resources need to respond to subpoenas, Web Warning has a flat rate of charge for sharing the records to comply with civil subpoenas. This payment must be made BEFORE the information sharing. Web Warning charges $ XXX for complying to properly served subpoenas. This includes every cost including mailing cost, research cost, copying charges and related expenses. The check is payable to Warning Report Inc. and should be mailed to office address office address office address office address office address office address. We reserve the right to add additional charges for improperly served subpoenas and repeat issuers of burdensome subpoenas.

  6. If the original author who is subpoenaed doesn't object to the subpoena or file a separate motion to quash, within the time period allowed under the law, in the appropriate forum, and we, in our sole discretion, feel that you have met your burden and have sent us a proper subpoena, as spelled out in this article, we will share the information we have on the original author. 

  7. If Web Warning or the original author doesn't object to the subpoena, you need to bring a motion in the court where you have appealed that you have complied with the set standards. depending on the type of the statement, the arguments in your motion and the stand of the original author, Web Warning may or may not oppose this motion. If the court reviews the motion and feels that you have met the requirements, then, we shall share the information you seek with you.

If you want to know something about sending subpoena and you didn't find the answer in this article, you can write to us at info@warningreport.com.