Comments on the "Protecting Constitutional Rights from Online Platform Censorship Act"

Comments on the “Protecting Constitutional Rights from Online Platform Censorship Act”

A tsunami of new Section 230 reform bills is coming soon. The early previews suggest those bills will be just as terrible as the bills from the 116th Congress. This bill comes from Rep. DesJarlain (R-TN), who voted against certifying…

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…

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…

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,…

2H 2020 Quick Links, Part 1 (Copyright)

* UMG Recordings v. RCN Telecom Services, LLC, 3:19-cv-17272-MAS-ZNQ (D.N.J. Aug. 31, 2020): Plaintiffs have made allegations sufficient to satisfy the knowledge requirement at the pleading stage. As to actual knowledge, Plaintiffs aver that the five million notices sent to…

Ninth Circuit Says Amazon Isn’t “Seller” of Marketplace Items–State Farm v. Amazon

This is another Amazon marketplace hoverboard case. The majority summarizes its conclusion: While Amazon provides a website for third-party sellers and facilitates sales for those sellers, it is not a “seller” under Arizona’s strict liability law for the third-party hoverboard…

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…

CDT Lacks Standing to Challenge Trump's Anti-230 Executive Order

CDT Lacks Standing to Challenge Trump’s Anti-230 Executive Order

In May, Trump issued an executive order designed to destroy Section 230 (EO 13925). Rather than actually work with Congress, Trump tried to amend 47 USC 230 only within the executive branch, which is largely a dead-end. I’m hoping Pres….