Websites will be forced to name people that send defamatory messages online under new Government plans.
As the law stands, individuals can be the subject of scurrilous rumour and allegation on the web with little meaningful remedy against the person responsible.
Website operators are in principle liable as publishers for everything that appears on their sites, even though the content is often determined by users.
But most operators are not in a position to know whether the material posted is defamatory or not and very often - faced with a complaint - they will immediately remove material.
Our proposed approach will mean that website operators have a defence against libel as long as they comply with a procedure to help identify the authors of allegedly defamatory material.
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