First understand that “Trolling” in reference to what we’re about to talk about is only pertaining to online behavior, so now that we have that straight….. Is trolling, on the internet, really going to get YOU sued? Possibly, in Arizona. Although it seems that the “trolling” part isn’t as serious as what the posts might be.
This article again points out what a delicate balancing act that law makers have when considering freedom of speech versus issues such as harassment and defamation and what the author comments intentions are. That right there is the exact reason many lawsuits are brought on by victims of defamation.
In our opinion, what is needed is very clear cut- language that separates the dividing line. In many cases we see, people may be sending an email or harass sing someone 5 times a day or more. Come on, do they really think that is “freedom of speech”? Even when asked to stop? If you think about it, if that was done with a phone, your local law enforcement would paying someone a visit. So why is that different on the internet?
One issue this article does NOT address is “ Will law enforcement really prosecute this, especially when the person is anonymous? Believe it or not, they usually won’t. It will most likely take going to an outside source, cyber investigator, internet lawyer, to bring the attacker to court and hold them accountable for their actions.
For many of these cases, in order to actually find the post author it will require a subpoena to the website or email provider where the attacker sent it from and then yet another subpoena to the internet service provider once the person’s IP address is known to identify the person responsible. This is where the local law enforcement agency usually drops the ball. Unless it’s a clear and dangerous harassing case, they normally do not have the knowledge, time and resources to follow through.
In our experience, the odds of local law enforcement taking on these type of cases, regardless of any laws on the books, is quite low. On the other hand, if you are using the right tools to help find the person responsible for the harassing or defamatory comments, odds of catching the perpetrator skyrocket and they are as good as done victimizing you online.