Michigan Judge Gives Boot to Libel Suit By Man Who Gave Nazi Salute, Shouted ‘Heil Hitler’ At School Board MeetingHerschel P. Fink
A man who disrupted a suburban Detroit school board hearing with a Nazi salute and shouts of “Heil Hitler!” to protest a proposed mask mandate, and then sued for libel after his actions were widely reported, lost his case against five news outlets.
Twitter had moved to dismiss the complaint under Section 230.
Eleventh Circuit Weighs in on First Amendment Rights of Online Platforms, as Parallel Case in Fifth Circuit Takes Swift Detour to Supreme CourtJeff Hermes
May 2022 was a dramatic month for cases heard by the Fifth and Eleventh Circuits raising First Amendment challenges to state laws that purport to regulate social media sites.
The Second Circuit affirmed that Facebook did not violate plaintiff’s Constitutional rights to free speech and due process by allegedly deleting and blocking his Facebook posts.
The court recognized Hepp sufficiently alleged that she had spent considerable time and effort cultivating an image, implying, but not expressly holding, her image had commercial value.
The Court held that Section 230 “may provide immunity for someone who merely shares a link on Twitter” but “it does not immunize someone for making additional remarks that are allegedly defamatory.”
Third Circuit: Section 230 Does Not Bar Pennsylvania Statutory Right of Publicity Claim Against FacebookDori Hanswirth, Michael E. Kientzle, and Rachel Carpman
The Third Circuit split with a leading Ninth Circuit opinion holding that internet service providers are immune from all state intellectual property law claims.
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.
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.