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Bryant council members denied anonymous bloggers' identities

A judge rules there isn't enough evidence of malicious intent to force mysaline.com creator Shelli Russell to give up information linked to anonymous bloggers writing unknind remarks about three Bryant city council members.
SALINE COUNTY, AR - Three Bryant city council members go to court and fail at stopping anonymous bloggers from writing about them saying the content in the blog postings is character assassination.

"You are after free speech," "Aldermen Henley, Steele and Miller are on a hunt," and "Let the games begin" are just a few posts by anonymous bloggers on the social networking site mysaline.com.

Thursday, Bryant city council members Adrian Henley, Danny Steele and Brenda Miller watched as Judge Gary Arnold denied their request to have website owner and operator Shelli Russell give up the names of her unknown bloggers.

"Name calling, calling someone a name - nana nana booboo - which is basically all they have - that's not libel," said Russell's attorney Mark Hicks while in the courtroom, Thursday.

"Their family lives have suffered, they have suffered as a result of this, we have no other way to find out who are behind these attacks," argues the three council members' attorney Tona DeMers.

After pouring over all evidence given of malicious blog postings from the website my saline.com, Judge Gary Arnold said there just wasn't enough evidence to prove malicious intent.

"I've done nothing wrong," said Russell. "I don't think that any of the bloggers have done anything wrong and I'm standing my ground knowing the truth and really what else do you need to know."

A subpoena demanded Russell turn over the names of six anonymous bloggers on her website claiming their posts are filled with defamatory remarks about the council members. Russell says even if she were ordered to give up her bloggers names, she doesn't know who they are.

Until the plaintiffs come up with solid evidence of defamation, the six bloggers will remain unknown.

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