Does the FTC Get a Free Pass From Section 230?–FTC v. LeadClick

I’ve often joked that the FTC and state AGs choose to live in a fantasy world where Section 230 doesn’t exist. A new ruling from the Second Circuit has turned my joke on its ear, suggesting that my underlying fears–of…

House Passes Consumer Review Fairness Act

Last night, the House passed the Consumer Review Fairness Act. The Senate passed the nearly identical Consumer Review Freedom Act back in December. I’ll discuss in a moment the minor variations between the two. Because of these differences, the Senate…

Ninth Circuit Criticizes Attempts to Plead Around Section 230–Kimzey v. Yelp

[Note: Venkat represented Yelp in this case but was not involved in the preparation of this post.] For all of the drama associated with Section 230 jurisprudence this year–including in the Ninth Circuit–it’s easy to forget that Section 230 still…

Unfortunate Expansion of 'Failure to Warn' Exception to Section 230--Beckman v. Match

Unfortunate Expansion of ‘Failure to Warn’ Exception to Section 230–Beckman v. Match

You recall the Ninth Circuit’s Doe v. ModelMayhem (Doe #14 v. Internet Brands) ruling from earlier this year. It held that a website couldn’t invoke Section 230 against a claim that the site should have warned its users about potential…

Section 230 Immunizes Twitter From Liability For ISIS’s Terrorist Activities–Fields v. Twitter

Abu Zaid, an alleged “lone wolf,” killed two American contractors in Jordan. ISIS claimed responsibility for the deaths, but “Plaintiffs do not allege that ISIS recruited or communicated with Abu Zaid over Twitter, that ISIS or Abu Zaid used Twitter…

Repeat Plaintiff Can't Sue Search Engines Because Employers Won't Hire Him--Despot v. Baltimore Life Insurance

Repeat Plaintiff Can’t Sue Search Engines Because Employers Won’t Hire Him–Despot v. Baltimore Life Insurance

The plaintiff, David Despot, has “filed many cases in various courts over the years.” Apparently there is some disagreement about the exact number: “Casetext indicates that its own website reveals 10 lawsuits, BLIC refers specifically to 5, Google states that…

Search Engine Snippets Protected By Section 230--O'Kroley v. Fastcase

Search Engine Snippets Protected By Section 230–O’Kroley v. Fastcase

The plaintiff’s vanity Google search results included the following snippet: “indecency with a child in Trial Court Cause N . . . Colin O’Kroley v Pringle.” The linked result (to Google Book’s indexing of Texas Advance Sheet–see image) contained a…

Message Board Operator May Be Liable For Moderator’s Content–Enigma v. Bleeping

It’s been a brutal year for Section 230 jurisprudence, and the hits keep coming. In today’s case, the parties ran into a judge who seemed unshakably determined–for reasons I can’t determine–to deny the motion to dismiss. This produces an outlier…

Sideloading Service Defeats Copyright Infringement Claims–BWP v. Polyvore

BWP Media is a celebrity photo agency and a repeat online copyright plaintiff. Polyvore is…well, I don’t really get what they do. They say the site “is a new way to discover and shop for things you love in fashion,…