Judge declines to restrict anonymous comments on Knoxville Web sites

This is welcome news:

A Knox County judge this afternoon issued an order refusing to require local media to shut down anonymous commentary allowed on their Web sites.

Knox County Judge Richard Baumgartner wrote in his ruling:

“So long as people are not committing any wrongdoing they should be free to anonymously participate in the online forums.”

Defense attorneys in the racially charged carjacking, torture and murder case of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom had asked the judge to order Knoxville media sites to either turn anonymous Web site comments off on stories about the case or require real names to comment.

Previously we had written.