A court in Florida has awarded $11.3m in damages and costs to a woman who suffered a campaign of abusive harassment on an online bulletin board.
Sue Scheff set up Parents Universal Resource Experts to counsel the parents of abused children after her daughter was abused and harmed at a teen help programme run by the World Wide Association of Specialty Programs and Schools.
Despite legal attempts to silence Scheff in 2002, the case got to court following a personal vendetta by a former acquaintance, Carey Bock, who posted a series of malicious accusations on the Fornits bulletin board.
The award may encourage web users to be more circumspect when posting comments on unmoderated boards and blogs, or the 'wild wild web' as some parts are known.
"Just because you don't like someone or what they do does not give you carte blanche to post false statements about a person on the internet," said Scheff after the trial.
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