Political candidate files lawsuit to get TigerDroppings user's personal information
BATON ROUGE - A court in Texas is being asked to decide if how users post on TigerDroppings.com should be kept a secret or not.
Current state representative Reid Falconer is suing FanDroppings LLC, which runs the popular TigerDroppings website. He's trying to get the court to force the website to turn over the name of the user he says posted damaging statements about him.
TigerDroppings.com has made its reputation by keeping your identity anonymous. Often people post crude and politically incorrect comments, knowing that their identity, in theory, is protected.
Now, Falconer wants that veil of secrecy lifted.
Falconer wants to know more about the person using the handle 'LAGOPMEMBER,’ who he says posted fake information involving a criminal complaint at Southeastern University.
Southern University associate professor of law Marc Roark believes it will be an uphill battle to get that user's personal information revealed.
“Congress passed, in 1996, the communications decency act. And under section 230 of that act, service providers online are given immunity from things that are published,” Roark said.
Roark says only in extremely rare instances would a website like TigerDroppings be forced to turn over information. For instance, if the website edited a post made by a user.
“I think TigerDroppings would probably make the claim that this may have a chilling effect on speech and that the long term gains of allowing that disclosure would harm other types of speech,” Roark said.
Falconer is in a heated runoff for a state senate seat and believes his opponent is behind this political smear campaign. But his opponent says his campaign had nothing to do with the post.
A hearing is set for November 22 in Harris County, Texas, where FanDroppings LLC is located.