A lawsuit tests the limits of anonymous speech

Consider a wide range of hypothetical scenarios that might explain how “rape allegations” wound up in the spreadsheet. Perhaps two different women who know the plaintiff each put “rape” in the spreadsheet, and a third woman condensed them to “rape allegations.” Or perhaps someone had heard rumors about the plaintiff, and without investigating them, simply added “rape allegations.” Or what if a man who’d never actually met the plaintiff in person but bore him a grudge gained access to the spreadsheet and added those words?

A staunch privacy advocate might want anonymity preserved in all those scenarios. Others would root for different outcomes in each situation.

Now consider the list more broadly. Hypothetically, what if it were the case that the first 55 entries were contributed by different journalists invited to edit the spreadsheet by its creator, but that the remaining entries were all submitted by a single IP address associated with a prominent alt-right troll, despite no apparent personal or professional overlap with any of the accused men? Forced to choose between making all or none of the IP addresses public—exposing victims of sexual misbehavior to scrutiny on one hand, preventing wrongly accused men from obtaining information that would clear their names on the other—what would you do?