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Google ordered to name defamers of scrutinized London rabbi

(JTA) — A British judge ordered Google to help identify the defamers of a London rabbi who is 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 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 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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