NISKAYUNA, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A Niskayuna woman scored a major victory against a social media giant late last week. The State Supreme Court ruled that 21-year-old Caroline McGraw could move forward with a subpoena to secure information about the users of an account that allegedly defamed her online.
“This is certainly a big win for the little person,” said Michael Macomber, the CEO of Tully Rinckey, the group that represented McGraw, “This case has really kind of provided that road map for trying to go after these people to prevent them from doing it. So a lot of people like to hide behind the anonymity of the internet.”
Court documents revealed some of the tweets in question, which appear to target McGraw. In some of the earliest, the account questions her employment at the Niskayuna Town Pool.
As court records revealed, her employment there was approved by the Niskayuna Town Council, including, supposedly inadvertently, by her mother who was on the council.
In another tweet, the account accuses McGraw of plagiarizing her Girl Scouts project, one that earned her the prominent Gold Award. After the ruling, Twitter will have to provide her with information on who runs the account, so she can pursue further legal action.
“To get the information needed to put a stop to this, and really anyone else who is subject to these attacks,” said Macomber, explaining how this could open the door to others in McGraw’s predicament.
During the legal proceedings, the attorney for Twitter argued this was an instance of an account being critical of local politicians, and the actions of the lawsuit were an effort to silence the discourse.