When Will People Learn: Websites Are Not Liable For What People Write In The Comments
from the so-many-wasted-lawsuits dept
It still amazes me when lawsuits actually get filed against sites for things that people write in the comments. Section 230 case law is really well established on this, and you would think lawyers would know better. But, such lawsuits still get filed, and they get dismissed just as quickly. In this particular case, a TV news anchor who was arrested during a drug bust (though, later, not indicted) got upset about her (former) employer writing an article about her arrest, where some people wrote things she didn’t like in the comments. So, she sued her former employer for “allowing unfiltered online comments which contained false information.” Of course, allowing unfiltered comments is not, by itself, illegal, and the court made that clear:
Miles does not allege that the defendants wrote or revised the false comments. In fact, she alleges that the comments were not filtered by the defendants. Furthermore, she complains that the defendants merely allowed the comments, and there is no indication or allegation that the defendants encouraged defamatory comments on their website. As a result, the Court finds that the defendants are immune from liability for the allegedly defamatory third-party comments published on its website pursuant to the Communications Decency Act.