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Google ordered to expose defamers of London rabbi

Rabbi Chaim Halpern’s attorney says online comments contained ‘serious defamatory slurs’

Rabbi Chaim Halpern (bottom right) of London is at the center of sexual misconduct allegations.
Rabbi Chaim Halpern (bottom right) of London is at the center of sexual misconduct allegations.

JTA — A British judge ordered Google to help identify people who may have defamed a London rabbi accused of inappropriate conduct toward women.

Justice Elizabeth Gloster of Britain’s High Court in London ordered the American Internet company to identify the authors of online comments said to have defamed Rabbi Chaim Halpern, the Jewish Chronicle reported on Friday.

The rabbi denies claims of inappropriate conduct, which are currently being investigated by a special rabbinical court set up at the behest of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations. Chloe Strong, Halpern’s attorney, said that the comments contained “serious defamatory slurs.”

Google, the judge said, needs to disclose the names of several people who have posted comments about Halpern under pseudonyms.

Gloster said that, since the rabbi denied the allegations, those making comments about him “should not … be entitled to hide behind the shield of anonymity.”

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