47 USC 230(c)(2) Talk Slides Draft–COMMENTS REQUESTED

By Eric Goldman

Later this week I’m giving a brand new talk on 47 USC 230(c)(2), the overlooked sibling of 47 USC 230(c)(1). With the help of a research assistant, we tried to identify and review every case referencing 47 USC 230(c)(2). I was surprised at how many cases cited 230(c)(2) (>30) and how few of them (<12) involved an actual holding turning on 230(c)(2) instead of discussing the provision in dicta or just citing it. I was also surprised at how little interpretative material discusses 230(c)(2) in any cogent way. The legislative history is useless, and the provision appears to have been virtually ignored in the law review literature--which itself is fascinating because 230(c)(2) is a really interesting and provocative doctrinal solution that warrants, at minimum, an appropriate theoretical justification (if one is possible). My talk is surely not the first to explore 230(c)(2) in a systematic way, but my research assistant and I really didn't find much to guide us. That's where you come in. I've posted my draft slides. I would be very grateful if you could take a look and let me know what you think about my taxonomy of 230(c)(2) cases (and if you think I missed any cases) and my list of Constitutional and statutory substitutes. Also, if you are aware of any law review articles or other secondary materials that specifically discusses 230(c)(2) (and not just 230(c)(1) or 230 generally), I would appreciate the citation. For that matter, I would gratefully welcome all comments on the slides!

If I make any changes to my slides before I give the talk, I’ll repost the “final” version of the slides by early next week to the same URL and announce the new version via Twitter.