Florida Judge Argues That § 230 Is Beyond Congress’s Power
White v. Discovery Communications, LLC, decided Wednesday by the Florida Court of Appeal, rejected a man’s libel claim against Netflix, on jurisdictional grounds (stemming in part from a particular procedural feature of the case), and against Microsoft on § 230 grounds. The facts are interesting, though largely beside the point for this post:
[Nathaniel] White sued various nonresident defendants for damages in tort resulting from an episode of a reality/crime television show entitled “Evil Lives Here.” Mr. White alleged that beginning with the first broadcast of the episode “I Invited Him In” in August 2018, he was injured by the broadcasting of the episode about a serial killer in New York also named Nathaniel White. According to the allegations in the amended complaint, the defamatory episode used Mr. White’s photograph from a decades-old incarceration by the Florida Department of Corrections. Mr. White alleged that this misuse of his photo during the program gave viewers the impression that he and the New York serial killer with the same name were the same person thereby damaging Mr. White….
[Mr. White’s] complaint … alleged that Microsoft used search engines “through the internet or any other internet service” to make the defamatory statements available to others. According to paragraph 50 of the amended complaint, Microsoft’s use of search engines and other internet services made it, and certain other defendants, “information content publishers.” Mr. White sought to hold Microsoft liable for publishing the allegedly defamatory episode….
And here’s the reason
Article from Reason.com