A Twitter thread sparked a lawsuit against Nieman Lab’s founder
A former journalism professor has filed a defamation suit, claiming she lost her job after Benton outed her on Twitter as the author of several controversial, right-wing comments. Which means Benton and others at Nieman Lab could be facing depositions, discovery, and a trial. The dispute began in May 2018, when Benton wrote a Twitter thread. about someone who was using the name "Truthseeker" to comment on a Nieman Lab story. Thanks to his administrative access on Disqus, Nieman Lab's commenting platform, Benton determined that the account was linked to Francesca Viola. Benton surfaced comments that truthseeker had posted elsewhere-ranging from lambasting the Drudge Report. The reaction to Benton's tweets was swift and devastating, according to Viola's suit. Viola wrote her comments "Based on the promise that her user information would be used for 'moderation purposes only,' which was violated when Benton posted her information on Twitter," Sorokin wrote.