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Section 230

Dec 2022

Professor Eric Goldman on Platform Transparency and the Constitution

Santa Clara University School of Law professor on the First Amendment implications of efforts to compel internet services to disclose various aspects of their decision-making processes and criteria with respect to user-generated speech.

Nov 2022

Fourth Circuit Pokes New Holes in Section 230 and Re-opens Old Questions

Jeff Hermes

The opinion reaches a result that many might consider unremarkable. However, it turns on reading new limitations into the scope of Section 230’s protection that are deeply concerning.

Sep 2022

Is Content Moderation a (Perhaps Un-)Necessary Evil, or a First Amendment Good?

Jeff Hermes

A consideration of the role that editorial discretion and content moderation play in the marketplace of ideas.

Aug 2022

Michigan Judge Gives Boot to Libel Suit By Man Who Gave Nazi Salute, Shouted ‘Heil Hitler’ At School Board Meeting

Herschel 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.

Jun 2022

Court Allows Twitter Account Suspension Action to Partially Proceed Past Dismissal Stage

Giselle Girones

Twitter had moved to dismiss the complaint under Section 230.

Jun 2022

Eleventh Circuit Weighs in on First Amendment Rights of Online Platforms, as Parallel Case in Fifth Circuit Takes Swift Detour to Supreme Court

Jeff 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.

Jun 2022

Second Circuit Holds that Facebook Is Not a State Actor Based on Content Removal

Alexa Millinger and Daniela Mays-Sanchez

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.

Jun 2022

News Anchor’s Right of Publicity Claims Can Proceed to Discovery

Tobin Raju

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.

May 2022

Section 230 Does Not Apply to Retweet Because Author Said He “Vouch[ed] for” the Retweeted Article

Sara Benson & Cindy Gierhart

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.”

Oct 2021

Third Circuit: Section 230 Does Not Bar Pennsylvania Statutory Right of Publicity Claim Against Facebook

Dori 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.