NEW YORK (CBS 2) — A New York woman who was harassed online is hoping her case will help put an end to anonymous cyber-bullying.
A judge on Tuesday ordered Google to release the names of the online attackers who made defaming comments about her.
Carla Franklin said she was humiliated when an anonymous cyber-bully posted unauthorized videos of her on YouTube, including offensive comments. The 34-year-old businesswoman fought back and won, reports CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez.
“I’m feeling vindicated, I’m feeling victorious,” Franklin said. “I’m just so happy that I got my court order.”
Franklin was able to get the video and comments removed by Google-owned YouTube, but that wasn’t enough for her, so she sued Google to reveal the identity of her online offenders.
A Manhattan judge ruled in Franklin’s favor and ordered Google to reveal the names, addresses and phone numbers of the three tormentors, who used the following screen names: “joeboom08,” “jimmyjean008,” and “greyspector09.”
“It was a private matter that needed to be resolved. What was happening to me was unacceptable,” Franklin said. “There was an Internet shrine created for me on YouTube dedicated to Carla Franklin, containing information that could be used to trace me to my job or to my home.”
The information from Google still may not reveal who unleashed the online attack, however.
“Even if you know that there is an Internet Protocol address associated with some wrongdoing, finding out who that person is can be a very, very difficult challenge,” Internet attorney Joseph DeMarco said.
“My issue is not really with Google. My issue is with this person who is doing this,” Franklin said.
Despite the reality that Franklin may never know who her bully is, she said she’s hoping her case will help others who are harassed online.
“Go to the court, stand up for yourself, do not be afraid,” she said. “I was afraid initially. I’m not anymore.”
Franklin said the court order has left her feeling empowered.
Google has until Oct. 29 to give Franklin the information.