NC Judge Says Online ID's Can Remain Confidential

A North Carolina judge has ruled that news organizations do not have to release the identities of commentators to their online news articles.

The Charlotte Observer reported Saturday that Gaston County Superior Court Judge Calvin Murphy ruled the Gaston Gazette did not have to tell the attorney for a murder suspect who a commentator was on an article about the case.

The judge's order issued Tuesday cited the First Amendment and North Carolina's shield law that protects news gatherers from having to release the identities of its sources.

An attorney for the North Carolina Press Association said the ruling is a significant protection against release of commentator information to a third party, but is not a blanket ruling for all online comments.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by David McGowan Location: Greenville, NC on Aug 3, 2010 at 09:42 AM
    Just look at yourself. You are lazy. If you had read every comment here, as you profess, you would have seen I have posted comments many times. From my original comment on this article, if you had anything WORTH saying, you would put your REAL name on it. Of course you cannot stand the shame and embarrassment from people whom know you.
  • by Anonymous on Aug 2, 2010 at 03:43 AM
    David McGowan Location: Greenville, NC on Aug 1, 2010 at 10:37 AM Lazy>absolutely not..I could care less to know it or your identity...my point being I have been reading the news via WITN for a long time and I do not see your opinions and name on controversial issues. There are those that post regularly,but your name is not one of familiarity.
  • by Carmen Location: NC on Aug 1, 2010 at 10:01 AM
    Sorry but I don't see the point. I mean if people are allowed to post things without thier names on it as in commets ect thats okay. BUT I do see a problem with having Major news stories put on the net without a source. How are people suppose to read it and say oh this is the truth if the person who reports it is real or not?? I just don't trust that, and I will refuse to read or believe anything that is not sourced.
  • by David McGowan Location: Greenville, NC on Aug 1, 2010 at 07:37 AM
    You must be lazy, my address and telephone number is in the phone book. If you or anyone else has a problem with what I write and say, and they want to contact me, I welcome it.
  • by Whew! on Aug 1, 2010 at 07:18 AM
    I'm very happy they did this. WITN7's board is a great one. I'd hate to see people forced to reveal their true identity. (unless they're a terrorist)
  • by To D on Aug 1, 2010 at 06:25 AM
    it's about an opinions..you should put your residential address and phone numbers so those that read your comments can call you and those that don't appreciate your comments can call your family.It's funny I haven't seen your name on any other stories, apparently you have no comment worth putting your name on . L O L
  • by Anonymous on Jul 31, 2010 at 03:35 PM
    They don't have to release the identities, but the may if the are ask.
  • by David McGowan Location: Greenville, NC on Jul 31, 2010 at 11:52 AM
    Anything worth saying is worth putting your REAL name on it.
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