The popular social networking app “Secret” has reportedly been temporarily enjoined in Brazil. A civil court in Brazil ordered both Google and Apple to remove Secret from their respective app stores, and to pull the apps from the phones of their users.
In its opinion, the Brazilian court raised concerns that Secret’s anonymity feature can become an instrument of cyberbullying. Indeed, the case was brought by a young marketing consultant who complained of intimate photos of himself being shared anonymously, leaving him no legal recourse.
Brazil is not the only jurisdiction dealing with anonymity issues related to social media. In the United States, companies have run into problems bringing anti-defamation suits against authors of anonymous postings. But in at least one case, a Virginia court has pierced the anonymity of Yelp reviews, forcing Yelp to identify the names of users that posted negative reviews of the plaintiff.
Read other Social Media Law Bulletin posts on anonymous postings.
Seth Jaffe (firstname.lastname@example.org / +1 713 651 5370) is an associate in Norton Rose Fulbright’s Intellectual Property Practice Group.