Cyberbullying Victim in Fake Facebook case can remain anonymous, Supreme Court of Canada rules

Good to read, “A Nova Scotia teenager has won the right to remain anonymous in a court battle against a cyberbully, but the Supreme Court of Canada rejected her request for a publication ban on some details of her case.

Read the Supreme Court of Canada ruling. Here is a brief excerpt,

“The critical importance of the open court principle and a free press has been tenaciously embedded in the jurisprudence. In this case, however, there are interests that are sufficiently compelling to justify restricting such access: privacy and the protection of children from cyberbullying.

Recognition of the inherent vulnerability of children has consistent and deep roots in Canadian law and results in the protection of young people’s privacy rights based on age, not the sensitivity of the particular child. In an application involving cyberbullying, there is no need for a child to demonstrate that he or she personally conforms to this legal paradigm. The law attributes the heightened vulnerability based on chronology, not temperament.

While evidence of a direct, harmful consequence to an individual applicant is relevant, courts may also conclude that there is objectively discernable harm. It is logical to infer that children can suffer harm through cyberbullying, given the psychological toxicity of the phenomenon. Since children are entitled to protect themselves from bullying, cyber or otherwise, there is inevitable harm to them — and to the administration of justice — if they decline to take steps to protect themselves because of the risk of further harm from public disclosure. Since common sense and the evidence show that young victims of sexualized bullying are particularly vulnerable to the harms of revictimization upon publication, and since the right to protection will disappear for most children without the further protection of anonymity, the girl’s anonymous legal pursuit of the identity of her cyberbully should be allowed.”

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