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Digital Media

Sep 2021

Landmark Defamation Decision in Australia Says You Are Liable for the Comment Section

Peter Bartlett and Tess McGuire

In a decision with far-reaching ramifications for social media engagement in Australia, the country's top court ruled that media companies may be liable for allegedly defamatory comments left by readers on their Facebook posts.

Aug 2021

Court Analyzes FOSTA Exception to Section 230

Jeff Hermes

The case involved claims against Twitter arising out of its alleged failure to remove links to third-party sex trafficker pornographic videos upon the request of minors depicted therein.

Aug 2021

What the Zuck! Court Grants USA Today’s Motion to Dismiss Social Media Personality’s Complaint

Michael Pusateri and Michael J. Grygiel

Judge Karsznitz — who presided over a two-hour oral argument on the motion to dismiss — was guided by longstanding precedent holding that the First Amendment is implicated whenever a plaintiff takes aim at speech addressing matters of legitimate public concern, no matter how her claims are styled. 

Jul 2021

Donald Trump Tries to Hold Social Media Platforms Liable for Politicians’ Exercise of Soft Power

Jeff Hermes

Trump’s complaints assert that the platforms were coerced into deplatforming Trump and others by Democratic lawmakers and other government officials, rendering the platforms’ decisions state action in violation of the First Amendment.

Jul 2021

“Cursing Cheerleader” Decision Leaves Unanswered Questions About Public Schools’ Authority Over Students’ Digital Free Speech Rights

Michael J. Grygiel

The Court affirmed that a student’s suspension from her high school’s cheerleading squad for vulgar Snapchat postings made outside of school on a weekend violated the First Amendment.

Jun 2021

Ninth Circuit Finds Section 230 Defense Inapplicable in Snapchat Speed Filter Suit

Matt Kristoffersen

As the panel wrote, the defendants are not trying to hold Snap liable as a publisher under Section 230. Rather, Snap is liable for a negligently designed product as a manufacturer — a completely different role.

Jun 2021

SCOTUS Ruling on Computer Fraud and Abuse Act May Help Investigative Journalists

Lynn Oberlander and Charles D. Tobin

Journalists may face less risk for commonplace investigative computer reporting techniques thanks to a recent ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court.

Jun 2021

Die Hard: Will Constitutional Roadblocks and a Lack of Consensus Stall Section 230 Reform?

Ambika Kumar, Robert Miller, and Sarah Burns

This article reviews the background and evolution of Section 230, explains proposals to reform or eliminate it, and evaluates some First Amendment implications of those proposals.

Jun 2021

Social Media Blocking by Government Officials: Where Does the Law Stand?

Lyndsey Wajert

A look at how caselaw has developed since the Knight Institute filed the 2017 complaint against president Trump, and what factors courts consider in challenges to social media blocking by public officials.

Jun 2021

Going Big, One Problem at a Time: Europe’s Regulation of Digital Services and Markets Gathers Pace

Remy Chavannes, Anke Strijbos and Dorien Verhulst

The EU is determined to evolve into a self-aware, digitally sovereign bloc that sets the rules by which global technology companies have to operate. However, it is still struggling to make sharp choices between conflicting objectives, such as between privacy and competition, or between consumer protection and the promotion of innovation.