Facebook Defeats Jawboning Lawsuit Over COVID Misinformation Removal–Rogalinski v. Meta
Rogalinski made several posts about COVID. Facebook added “missing context” labels to two of them and removed another one. Rogalinski claims that Facebook “censored” him on behalf of the government, so he tries a standard jawboning lawsuit. He gets the same outcome as all the rest.
In Hart v. Facebook, the court dismissed a very similar case…
on at least four related but essentially independent grounds: (1) Facebook much more plausibly was enforcing its own misinformation policy; (2) the government’s statements were phrased only as vague recommendations; (3) the government’s supplying of information to Facebook did not plausibly suggest involvement in Facebook’s decisions; and (4) there was no indication of government involvement in action specifically toward Hart
Rogalinski’s attempts to get around this precedent fall flat. Rogalinski admits that any government statements were “clearly suggestions,” not edicts. Facebook took action against Rogalinski’s content before the pivotal statements from Psaki. This reinforces that Facebook may have acted on its own volition. There’s no allegation that the government targeted Rogalinski personally. And even if the government had provided information about Rogalinski to Facebook, “the government can work with a private entity without converting that entity’s later decisions into state action.” [Cite to O’Handley.] Case dismissed.
For a deeper dive on this genre of cases, see Online Account Terminations/Content Removals and the Benefits of Internet Services Enforcing Their House Rules.
Case Citation: Rogalinski v. Meta Platforms, Inc., 3:22-cv-02482-CRB (N.D. Cal. Aug. 9, 2022).
Selected Jawboning Posts
- COVID Skeptics’ Anti-Jawboning Lawsuit Fails–Changizi v. Department of HHS
- Facebook & Twitter Defeat Lawsuit Over Account Terminations of COVID/Mask Skeptic–Hart v. Facebook
- Twitter Defeats Trump’s Deplatforming Lawsuit–Trump v. Twitter
- Section 230 Survives Yet Another Constitutional Challenge–Huber v. Biden
- Another Anti-Vaxxer Jawboning Lawsuit Fails–ICAN v. YouTube
- The First Amendment Protects Twitter’s Fact-Checking and Account Suspension Decisions–O’Handley v. Padilla
- One More Time: Facebook Isn’t a State Actor–Atkinson v. Facebook
- Government Jawboning Doesn’t Turn Internet Services into State Actors–Doe v. Google
- Facebook Defeats Lawsuit By Publishers of Vaccine (Mis?)information–Children’s Health Defense v. Facebook
- Another Must-Carry Lawsuit Against YouTube Fails–Daniels v Alphabet
- Congressional Jawboning of Internet Services Isn’t Actionable–AAPS v. Schiff
- Facebook Isn’t a Constructive Public Trust–Cameron Atkinson v. Facebook
- Section 230 Ends Demonetized YouTuber’s Lawsuit–Lewis v. Google