[Note: this is the first of what may become a 3 or 4 part series about anti-Internet bills moving through the California legislature.] This post analyzes California AB 587, self-described as “Content Moderation Requirements for Internet Terms of Service.” I…

Russia * NYT: Russia Intensifies Censorship Campaign, Pressuring Tech Giants. The US government should more aggressively condemn “landing laws” as a violation of free speech? * Wired: Russia Blocks Facebook and Twitter in a Propaganda Standoff * Bloomberg: Russia Steps…

[Shoutout to all of the dads out there! 🎉] The Algorithms * What would happen if FB turned off its newsfeed algorithm? In February 2018, a Facebook researcher all but shut off the News Feed ranking algorithm for .05% of…

This case involves Cognizant, a business process outsourcer (BPO) that performed content moderation work for Facebook. (Cognizant has since exited the field). In 2021, a federal court dismissed a putative class action lawsuit against Cognizant for trauma experienced by the…

Anti-Cyberstalking Statute Must Be Read Narrowly to Keep It Constitutional--U.S. v. Yung

I’m blogging this in part because of the shocking facts. Ho Ka Terence Yung really wanted to attend Georgetown Law. He did an alumni interview that went poorly and was rejected soon after. (Yung ended up attending UT Austin). Blaming…

Quantifying the Media's Section 230 Misreporting in 2020

2020 was filled with terrible memories, including the COVID pandemic/shutdown and Trump’s coup attempt, so it’s easy to forget how close we came to losing Section 230. In May 2020, Trump issued his performative executive order purporting to repeal Section…

Facebook Moderator Defeats Defamation Lawsuit Over Termination Explanation--Margolies v. Rudolph

This is a case in the #MeToo genre. Rudolph runs a “private” Facebook group called The Green Lounge with about 14,000 members. Margolies was a member and made in-group connections with substantial commercial value to him. On June 3, 2020,…

Initial Interest Confusion It’s 2022 and we’re still dealing with this shit. SMH. Can we please just outright kill the doctrine and spend our time on more meaningful problems? * “the initial interest confusion doctrine…requires a finding of likelihood of…

* Hebenstreit v. Merchants Bank of Indiana, 1:18-cv-00056-JPH-DLP (S.D. Ind. Aug. 26, 2021). A photo of the Indianapolis nighttime skyline has generated $825 in license fees & $135k in settlements. After 3+ yrs of litigation, court awards Bell $200 in…

"Private" Facebook Groups Aren't Legally "Private"--Davis v. HDR

The plaintiff, Davis, is a member of two Facebook groups: “Ahwatukee411,” with over 32k members as alleged in the complaint (as the screenshot on the right shows, it’s now over 34k members), and “Protecting Arizona’s Resources & Children” (“PARC”), with…