The problem with the internet is that people can use screen names to hide who they are, which in turn creates issues as these users can simply keep creating new accounts to harass people online, leave fake negative reviews about a business, and so on. However, sometimes users just want to be anonymous for the sake of privacy, and that not all reviews are necessarily fake.
However, over in Australia, it seems that one dentist isn’t too pleased with a review that he received from an alleged patient, where they wrote that they should stay away from his dental practice because the dentist had make it “extremely awkward and uncomfortable”. So much so that a judge had ruled that the dentist in question, Dr. Matthew Kabbabe, had the right to pursue a defamation case and has ordered Google to hand over information about the reviewer.
This includes personal details such as the name, phone number, and location metadata. According to Kabbabe’s lawyer, they are calling this a groundbreaking situation because it effectively signals that Google is ultimately responsible for dealing with these types of posts made online. There has been some debate about posts made on social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, and whether or not these platforms ought to shoulder some of the responsibility.
Whether or not the Australian courts can force Google to hand over information about the reviewer remains to be seen, but it is expected to be a lengthy process.