9th Circuit Upholds Section 230 Protections in Reddit Case

PASADENA — A three-judge Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel has upheld a district court’s dismissal of a civil lawsuit attempting to circumvent Section 230 and hold Reddit liable under the federal civil sex trafficking statute for third-party content.

The judges held that Section 230 shielded Reddit from a civil suit filed by attorneys for anonymous plaintiffs, filing as “Jane and John Does,” who allege that users of Reddit “posted and circulated sexually explicit images and videos of minors online.”

The victims and their parents attempted to bypass Section 230 protections by appealing to the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act.

The Ninth Circuit panel held that Reddit, as an “interactive computer services provider”, “generally enjoys immunity from liability for user-posted content under Section 230.

The plaintiffs had also invoked the controversial FOSTA carveout, claiming that However, Section 230 immunity “does not apply to child sex trafficking claims if

the conduct underlying the claim also violates” the criminal child

sex trafficking statute.

The judges, however, concluded that since plaintiffs did not allege that Reddit “knowingly participated in or benefitted from a sex trafficking venture,” they therefore “failed to state a sex trafficking claim.”

An NCOSE-Promoted Attempt to Shut Down All UGC Content

The original lawsuit, which cited FOSTA-SESTA and was filed in April 2021 by attorneys for pseudonymous Jane and John Does, was originally dismissed a year ago.

At that time, U.S. District Judge James V. Selna found that Section 230 shielded Reddit from allegations of “profiting off of child pornography” over user-generated content, or UGC.

In late November 2021, the lawsuit was revived through an appeal to the Ninth Circuit.

As XBIZ reported, In March of this year, attorneys for the Jane and John Does, filed an opening appellate brief for a proposed class of plaintiffs.

The initial 2021 lawsuit followed years of Reddit being targeted by religiously motivated anti-porn organization NCOSE for allowing any UGC involving sex, regardless of legality.

Reddit became the latest defendant in an orchestrated campaign of civil lawsuits attempting to challenge Section 230 protections in the name of protecting victims of sex trafficking.

Like similar lawsuits filed against Facebook, Twitter, Pornhub and WGCZ under NCOSE’s sponsorship, the Reddit lawsuit refers to an illegal video shot and uploaded by a third party. In each case, the third party is not part of the lawsuit. Instead, the plaintiff looks for a settlement from a large online platform that supposedly “promoted and monetized” the content.

Shortly before the original lawsuit was filed, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman stated during an interview with newsmagazine Axios HBO that his platform is “perfectly supportive” of pornographic content, as long as it does not feature involuntary sexualization or sexualization of minors.

Does v. Reddit

Article Source : xbiz.com – XBIZ is the leading source for adult industry news.

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