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High-Tech Law & Litigation Blog

  • 10
  • August
  • 2017


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Public Fora in for a Change? Social Media and Data Analytics Are Changing Constitutional Free Speech Law, and Businesses May Feel the Effects

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a North Carolina law barring registered sex offenders from accessing social media websites on the grounds that the law violated the First Amendment. Packingham v. North Carolina, 137 S. Ct. 1730, 1738 (2017). In so holding, the Court recognized the importance of social media as a tool for public expression. Writing for the majority, Justice Kennedy observed that social media websites “provide perhaps the most powerful mechanisms available to a private citizens to make his or her voice heard”—“allow[ing] a person with an Internet connection to ‘become a town crier with a voice that resonates farther than it could from any soapbox.’” Id. at 1737 (quoting Reno v. Am. Civil Liberties Union, 521 U.S. 844, 870 (1997)).

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  • 10
  • July
  • 2017


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Social Media Companies Should Not Forget Traditional Tort Principles Where They Fall Outside Role of 'Publisher or Speaker'

Since 1996, internet and social media companies have relied on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, 47 U.S.C. § 230, to obtain dismissal of claims based on user-generated content posted on their sites. But, as two recent cases demonstrate, the line can be fuzzy between a claim that targets a social media platform as a "publisher or speaker" and one that targets the platform in some other role.

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Jason A. Levine

Jason A. Levine Partner

Jennifer C. Chen

Jennifer C. Chen Partner

Devika Kornbacher

Devika Kornbacher Partner

Marc A. Fuller

Marc A. Fuller Counsel

Thomas W. Bohnett

Thomas W. Bohnett Senior Associate

Megan Coker

Megan Coker Senior Associate

Trey Hebert

Trey Hebert Associate

Howard Lithaw Lim Associate

Elizabeth Krabill McIntyre

Elizabeth Krabill McIntyre Senior Associate

David C. Smith

David C. Smith Counsel

Margaret D. Terwey

Margaret Dunlay Terwey Senior Associate

Ryan B. Will

Ryan Will Associate

Siho (Scott) Yoo

Siho (Scott) Yoo Senior Associate