September 01, 2018 iWitness

Internet Defamation: Time for the Horsewhip Again?

Aggrieved parties often find it difficult to get relief for false statements made online.

Frank F. Sommers

Download a printable PDF of this article.

Think about these questions as you read:

Do you agree with the California Supreme Court’s ruling in Hassell v. Bird, 420 P.3d 776 (Cal. 2018), that a finding under state law that an Internet posting is libelous is not sufficient to support an order requiring the site to remove it?

Should Internet sites like Yelp, Google, and Facebook enjoy greater immunity from court supervision than traditional publications because of the Communications Decency Act (CDA), 47 U.S.C. §§ 230 et seq.? Or should websites be held to the same standards as print publications?

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