Outed ‘skank’ blogger to sue Google for US$15m

25 Aug 2009

The 29 year-old fashion student who labelled a former model ‘a skank’ on an anonymous blog posting and was subsequently identified by Google during a lawsuit is to sue the search giant for US$15m.

Rosemary Port was identified as the anonymous poster on an infamous “Skanks in NYC” blog who targeted 36 year-old former model Liskula Cohen.

Cohen filed a lawsuit against Google in a New York court demanding the writer’s identity be revealed.

Last week New York Judge Joan Maden agreed with Cohen and told Google to reveal the anonymous poster.

It has emerged that Port plans to sue Google on the basis that it has breached its fiduciary duty to protect her expectation of anonymity when it complied with the order.

Port says she was given no warning and almost immediately became the object of press attacks.

The whole sorry episode reminds this writer of an old New Yorker magazine cartoon of two dogs using the internet and one quips: “On the internet no one knows you’re a dog.”

It seems that right or wrong such halcyon days are coming to an end and with this one court case a virtual Pandora’s box over online anonymity has been jacked open.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years