A chatroom spat turned expensive for Tracy Williams, a college lecturer from Oldham, Greater Manchester, after she lost a libel case brought against her by Michael Keith-Smith in the High Court. The Court heard that Williams described Keith-Smith as "lard brain", "Nazi", a "racist bigot" and a "nonce". The High Court ordered Williams to pay £10,000 in damages as well as £7,200 in costs to Keith-Smith (from The Guardian). Mr. Keith Smith reportedly settled out of court for a sum of around £30,000 with a second, unnambed defendant.
The case is interesting because instead of going after the website owner yahoo, an obvious target as publisher and an even more obvious target due to the reported size of it’s bank accounts, the claimant instead sued the person posting the defamatory statements. Well done Mr. Keith-Smith for making the person who wrote the post take responsibility for it.