A federal district court has rejected a lawsuit accusing a gossip website of defamation and invasion of privacy, finding that the site was immune from suit under Section 230(c)(1) of the Communications Decency Act (CDA). The defendants in S.C. v. Dirty World, LLC – operators of the website www.thedirty.com – claimed immunity for publishing allegedly defamatory third-party content. As we have previously reported, courts have interpreted Section 230(c)(1) of the CDA as providing immunity for websites that display third-party content, as long as the websites do not contribute to the creation or development of the offending content. The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment, finding that they did not contribute to the development of the third-party content, even if they “encouraged” defamatory statements. Although this decision splits from a recent ruling by another federal district court (which found that Dirty World was not protected by the CDA because it actively encouraged the posting of defamatory content), it is consistent with the majority of decisions that have interpreted Section 230(c)(1) of the CDA broadly.
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Court refuses to clean up Dirty World
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