In October, a defamation lawsuit was filed in response to a document that was released containing a list of men accused of sexual misconduct. The Google spreadsheet list was created by journalist Moira Donegan and allowed women to share accusations of harassment by powerful men. The lawsuit, filed by writer Stephen Elliott, threatened to reveal the identities of the women who contributed to the list, which has the potential to violate the First Amendment right to anonymous online speech.

Mr. Elliott wants to subpoena the spreadsheet list in order to learn the identity of account holders for the email addresses that contributed to the list. This case "asks courts to strike a difficult balance between a plaintiff's need for discovery with a defendant's First Amendment right to anonymous speech."

Ballard Spahr media litigator Ashley Kissinger added, "There is a right to speak anonymously, but that right is not unlimited. Where is the yielding point?"

Google has stated that it will fight back on any attempts from Mr. Elliott to obtain document information from the spreadsheet.

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