EPIC Urges Ninth Circuit to Reinforce Previously Established Limits on Section 230

August 21, 2023

In an amicus brief submitted last Friday, EPIC and children’s rights organization Fairplay urged the Ninth Circuit to recognize its own limiting principles on the scope of Section 230 and to allow a lawsuit against an anonymous messaging company to be decided on its merits. The case, Bride v. Snap, centers around whether the families of students who killed themselves after being cyberbullied can sue the app companies on misrepresentation and products liability grounds. The plaintiffs allege that the companies misrepresented themselves by claiming they would ban and/or reveal the identities of abusive users but refusing to do so. They also allege the companies designed unreasonably dangerous apps by allowing children to engage in one-sided anonymous messaging. The district court dismissed all the claims on Section 230 grounds. In their amicus brief, EPIC and Fairplay explain that the Ninth Circuit has interpreted Section 230 to place important limitations on the types of claims it prohibits, and that those limitations should allow the claims brought in this case to proceed. EPIC has submitted multiple amicus briefs about the correct interpretation of Section 230’s scope.

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