Practically anyone with Internet access can post a comment on a web page.  Anonymous web posting promotes the free exchange of ideas and opinions. When clients of The Chapar Firm posted true comments on line, a plaintiff filed a lawsuit and had the court issued subpoenas to the web site operator to seek to reveal the identity of the posters.  In that case, The Chapar Firm successfully quashed subpoenas to unmask the “John Doe” posters. 

However, under the cover of anonymity, a web poster may feel emboldened to publish false comments about others.  Even the First Amendment does not permit an anonymous web poster to post libelous comments.  Further, the Terms of Use of a website may restrict what a user may post without implicating the First Amendment.  Some websites prohibit users from posting libelous, defamatory, illegal, obscene, or threatening materials.  Other websites specifically state that one may not post confidential information about someone else.  

When anonymous web posters published defamatory comments about a Chapar Firm client, the Firm successfully convinced the website owner to remove the defamatory comments without resorting to legal action.  The Chapar Firm  invoked the Terms of Use of the website which specifically prohibited defamation.  When subsequent defamatory comments were posted, The Chapar Firm demanded that the post inspiring the defamatory comments be closed to commenting.  The website complied.