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Digital Media

May 2021

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Digs Into Section 230 for the First Time

Jeff Hermes

The decision, which involves the question of whether peer-to-peer vehicle marketplace Turo is immunized by § 230 from liability for users’ unauthorized activity at Boston’s Logan Airport, is the first significant ruling from Massachusetts’ high court on the scope of § 230’s protection.

Apr 2021

Is Compelling Social Media to Moderate According to First Amendment Standards Consistent with First Amendment Principles?

Jeff Hermes

Justice Clarence Thomas issued a separate concurring opinion questioning whether public officials could be held to First Amendment standards with respect to conduct on social media sites owned and operated by private parties who are not themselves subject to the First Amendment.

Mar 2021

When Copyright Met Cryptocurrency: A Conversation About NFTs

Jeff Hermes

MLRC deputy director thinks through non-fungible tokens.

Mar 2021

Court Dismisses Libel Suit By Former Trump Campaign Adviser Against Yahoo News and HuffPost

Jeff Grossman

A Delaware court has dismissed a defamation lawsuit brought by former Trump 2016 campaign adviser Carter Page against Yahoo News and HuffPost concerning articles about the U.S. intelligence investigation into Page’s contacts with Russia.

Feb 2021

Eighth Circuit Allows State Rep to Block Constituents from Campaign-Focused Twitter Account

Michael L. Nepple

The Eighth Circuit determined that an elected Missouri legislator did not violate the First Amendment when she blocked a constituent from her Twitter account because she operated it “in a private capacity, namely, as a campaigner for public office,” and, thus, not “under color of state law.”

Feb 2021

Senators Propose Substantial Revisions to Section 230’s Protections for Online Providers

Christopher W. Savage, Ambika Kumar Doran, and James Rosenfeld

If passed, the Act would dramatically change the landscape of online liability.

Jan 2021

Biden: How to Deal with the Plight of the Press; Was De-Platforming Trump Warranted; and Choosing Sides in the Dominion Libel Cases

George Freeman

MLRC Executive Director reflects on the challenges facing president Biden, big tech deplatforming former president Trump, and how the media bar might consider a worthy defamation suit.

Nov 2020

Free Speech on the Internet: A Conversation with Professor Tim Wu

Professor Wu on regulating online harms, his role on the Facebook oversight board, and more.

Jul 2020

Why Tying Section 230 to Political Neutrality Violates the First Amendment

Berin Szóka

Conditioning 230 immunity on opening yourself up to legal liability under consumer protection law is a Rube-Goldberg-esque legal contraption intended to do what the First Amendment clearly forbids: forcing websites to host user-generated content they find objectionable.