In an online forum or social network does a user who ties the identity of their presence there to their real world identity have more recourse open to them with regard to being libeled than a user who uses a pseudonym?

Asked another way, is it possible to commit libel against an anonymous pseudonym?

  • 1
    you are either entitled to protection or you are not. I am not aware of any degrees of protection.
    – Chad
    May 29 '15 at 19:45

There's really no difference.

Quoting from here,

What if I change the person's name?

To state a defamation claim, the person claiming defamation need not be mentioned by name—the plaintiff only needs to be reasonably identifiable. So if you defame the "government executive who makes his home at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue," it is still reasonably identifiable as the president.

What does the whole thing depend on? It depends on how easy it is to identify the pseudonym-using plaintiff. They don't have more recourse, per se - nor do they have more protection under the law - but it may be harder for them to win the case. On the upside, the statement might not cause them as much harm when compared to a person using their actual name.

  • 2
    note: other than outrageous falsity, it is almost impossible to defame a public official. May 29 '15 at 19:05

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