Section 230 Year-in-Review for 2020

Section 230 Year-in-Review for 2020

Section 230 had such a drama-filled year that I decided to do a separate roundup, in addition to my annual Internet Law wrapup coming soon. (I know 2020 feels like it was a decade ago…) Trigger warning: this post is…

New Op-Ed: People Who Understand Section 230 Actually Love It

New Op-Ed: People Who Understand Section 230 Actually Love It

[Published in the San Jose Mercury-News, January 10, 2021] Section 230, which says that websites aren’t liable for third-party content, has developed an increasingly bad reputation. In December, Pres. Trump vetoed a critical $740 billion military funding bill because Congress…

2H 2020 Quick Links, Part 5 (Contracts, E-Commerce, Defamation, Censorship, & More)

Contracts * Kidstar v. Facebook, Inc.,  2020 WL 4382279 (D.N.J. July 31, 2020). The plaintiff sued Facebook because he lost access to photos in his account. assuming, arguendo, that Plaintiff opened a Facebook account in 2004, the 2009 User Agreement…

More Plaintiffs (and Lawyers) Need To Be Reminded That YouTube Isn't a State Actor--Divino v. Google

More Plaintiffs (and Lawyers) Need To Be Reminded That YouTube Isn’t a State Actor–Divino v. Google

This lawsuit, like many others before it, claims that UGC services like YouTube commit illegal discrimination based on how they moderate content. Despite its lack of novelty, this lawsuit got some media coverage for two reasons: (1) most of the…

FTC’s Confusing Guidance on How Merchants Should Manage Their Consumer Reviews

This blog post covers an FTC closing letter. A few words about FTC closing letters if you’re not familiar with them. When the FTC staff open an investigation but then decide not to take action, staff issues a “closing letter”…

Laura Loomer Loses Another Lawsuit Related to Her Twitter Ban–Illoominate v. CAIR

This is the detritus of Laura Loomer’s lawsuit against Twitter for banning her account. A court previously dismissed those claims on Section 230 grounds. She also sued the Council on American-Islamic Relations Foundation (CAIR), claiming they complained to Twitter about…

2H 2020 Quick Links, Part 4 (FOSTA)

2H 2020 Quick Links, Part 4 (FOSTA)

* “Department of Justice shut down CityXGuide.com and arrested the site’s owner, for the first time utilizing the criminal expansions created under FOSTA/SESTA.” Notice of proceedings. Indictment. * Emily Morgan, On FOSTA and the Failures of Punitive Speech Restrictions, 115…

Facebook Isn't a Constructive Public Trust--Cameron Atkinson v. Facebook

Facebook Isn’t a Constructive Public Trust–Cameron Atkinson v. Facebook

Cameron Atkinson self-describes himself as “a Christian, a published constitutional scholar, a soon-to-be trial and appellate lawyer, and a general hell-raiser.” He also describes himself as “Liberty’s sheriff” and you can even buy t-shirts apparently depicting him in that role….

2H 2020 Quick Links, Part 2 (Section 230)

2H 2020 Quick Links, Part 2 (Section 230)

* Griffin v. Google, 2020 WL 6781624 (S.D. Ga. Nov. 18, 2020). “Plaintiff only alleges these Defendants failed to screen to make sure their users were legal entities without providing any other basis for liability….Aside from some very limited exceptions,…

Google Isn't Liable for Allegedly Problematic Search Results--Diez v. Google

Google Isn’t Liable for Allegedly Problematic Search Results–Diez v. Google

Diez claims to be a “naturist” (note: these facts are taken from Diez’s complaint). He conducted Google image searches for the keywords “family naturist females,” “family naturist girls,” “family nudist females,” and “family nudist girls.” [PLEASE DO NOT INDEPENDENTLY INVESTIGATE…