Facebook bullying case goes to court

A Nova Scotia family has taken legal action over a fake Facebook page they say defamed their daughter.

N.S. family demands names behind fake account

A Nova Scotia family has taken legal action over a fake Facebook page they say defamed their daughter.

Someone created a fake account in the name of the 15-year-old girl in March, using a real photograph of her. The girl's father said the picture was likely taken from her true Facebook account.

The family alleges that what followed amounted to Facebook bullying, with defamatory comments posted to appear that they came from the girl.

The family hired Halifax lawyer Michele Awad, and she contacted Facebook's head office in California. It told her the computer IP address of the person who created the fake account was in Dartmouth, N.S.

Awad then contacted Eastlink, the internet provider, seeking the name of the person.

Eastlink told her she would need a court order to get the name, but that Eastlink would not oppose the application.

On Wednesday, a Halifax court will decide if Eastlink must turn the name over to Awad.

Legal action possible

If the name is revealed to the family, it will have one year to take legal action against the creator of the fake account.

Court documents say the family is considering taking legal action if the name is turned over.

The family is not being identified, and Awad is asking the court to ban information that could identify the girl or what was said on the fake Facebook profile, which has now been disabled.

In April, Awad represented officials from a Halifax fire department who asked a court to force a Halifax newspaper, The Coast, to hand over the names of anonymous online commentators.

Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice Heather Robertson ordered that the names be provided in that case.

Eastlink's Kimberly Hayes declined to speak to CBC News, but in an email to Awad she said the company is experiencing a high volume of such requests lately and that it is becoming a significant burden on its resources.