Actor James Woods trying to unmask Twitter user

GMT 22:18 2015 Monday ,31 August

Arab Today, arab today Actor James Woods trying to unmask Twitter user

Actor James Woods
Hollywood - UPI

Hollywood veteran James Woods is taking steps to try and expose an anonymous Twitter user who allegedly insulted the actor -- calling him a "cocaine addict."

Woods, who has been acting since the 1970s, filed the suit last month. His legal team is trying to persuade Twitter to turn over records concerning a user named "Abe List."

Woods' suit seeks $10 million in defamation damages -- an amount, he believes, will deter anonymous Internet users from utilizing social media to "propagate lies."

The suit also seeks to unmask another user named "T.G. Emerson," who supposedly wrote online that Woods is a "notorious coke fiend and registered sex offender."

However, the social media giant has so far opposed Woods' requests. In a letter this month, Twitter said the actor and his lawyers are making "vague, overbroad, and unduly burdensome" demands.

"The speech at issue appears to be opinion and hyperbole rather than a statement of fact," Twitter attorney Ryan Mrazik said in the letter. "Further, the target of the speech is a public figure who purposefully injects himself into public controversies, and there has been no showing of actual malice.

"Attempts to unmask anonymous online speakers in the absence of a prima facie defamation claim are improper and would chill the First Amendment rights of speakers who use Twitter's platform to express their thoughts and ideas instantly and publicly, without barriers."

An attorney for the user "Abe List" has responded to Woods' claims by pointing to instances where the actor himself supposedly wrote similar insults to people on Twitter.

"But Plaintiff apparently believes that while he can say that sort of thing to others, others cannot say it to him," the attorney said.

The judge has set a hearing to discuss the case for Oct. 2.

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