DC Circuit Confirms That Congressional Jawboning Isn't Actionable--AAPS v. Schiff

This is one of many cases, often related to #MAGA or anti-vax, seeking legal recourse for Congressional jawboning of Internet services. More typically, the plaintiff claims Internet services become state actors due to the jawboning directed at them. In contrast,…

Court Quashes 512(h) Subpoena Submitted to YouTube--Watch Tower v. Kevin McFree

A “lapsed” Jehovah’s Witnesses member, using the alias “Kevin McFree,” posted YouTube videos using stop-animation of Lego figurines to criticize the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The IP arm of the Jehovah’s Witnesses (the “Watch Tower”) claimed that one such video, the “Dubtown…

New Article: "The Constitutionality of Mandating Editorial Transparency"

I’ve posted a draft of my latest article, “The Constitutionality of Mandating Editorial Transparency,” forthcoming in the Hastings Law Journal later this year. As always, I hope you will check it out. Congress, state legislatures, and federal and state enforcement…

Catching Up on Recent FOSTA Developments (None of Them Good)

The number #1 question I get whenever I discuss FOSTA with folks who aren’t familiar with it: did Congress know what it was doing? Well, the answer is complicated. Many things have gone wrong with FOSTA, and those outcomes were…

The First Amendment Protects Twitter's Fact-Checking and Account Suspension Decisions--O'Handley v. Padilla

The plaintiff is Rogan O’Handley, a California lawyer with elite credentials (UChicago Law, practice experience as a corporate finance and entertainment attorney) who nevertheless jumped onto the anti-“elites” Trump train 🙄 and embraced Trump’s Big Lie that the 2020 election…

Section 230 Preempts Claims Against Omegle--M.H. v. Omegle

Omegle enables real-time video and text chats with users assigned at random. The case involves an 11 year old girl who was a first-time Omegle user. The complaint alleges that a malefactor John Doe manipulated her into disrobing so he…

15 years ago, there was a now-mostly-forgotten battle royale over click fraud in Google AdWords (see links at the post’s bottom). Fun times. Since the resolution of that litigation, click fraud issues have largely faded into the background, flaring up…

2021 Emoji Law Year-in-Review

A recap of emoji law developments in 2021: Court References I maintain a dataset of US court opinions that reference emojis and emoticons. I have compiled the dataset using keyword alerts in Westlaw and Lexis, supplemented by a few opinions…

Background Reports Protected by Section 230--Dennis v. MyLife

Plaintiffs sued MyLife for selling background reports about them and furnishing “public reputation scores.” MyLife aggregates its data from third-party sources, but the plaintiffs “seek to hold Defendant liable for packaging and re-publishing this information on its website without their…

This case involves the Twitter account “@CallMeMoneyBags,” a pseudonymous account. In October 2020, the user posted 6 tweets attacking Brian Sheth, a private equity billionaire, that included photos “depicting a woman or portions of a woman’s body.” The opinion doesn’t…