Washington – In two landmark, unanimous decisions involving online speech, the Supreme Court has declined to impose liability on Twitter and Google for alleged terrorist activity that, plaintiffs argued, was linked to third-party content that those sites displayed.
Both Twitter v. Taamneh and Gonzalez v. Google included a claim that online speech constituted “aiding and abetting” under the Anti-Terrorism Act. In Taamneh, the Court reversed the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling to hold that plaintiffs had failed to state a viable claim. Based on that ruling, the Court struck the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Gonzalez, sending the case back to the court of appeals.
CCIA led joint amicus curiae briefs in both appeals, filing with seven organizations in Twitter v. Taamneh and five associations in Google v. Gonzalez, that discussed digital services’ content moderation and organization methods.
The Computer & Communications Industry Association has advocated for free speech online for nearly 30 years.
The following can be attributed to CCIA President Matt Schruers:
“The Court correctly recognized the narrow posture of these cases and declined to rewrite a key tenet of U.S. Internet law, preserving free expression online and a thriving digital economy.”
“No one wants to see extremist content on digital services — especially the services themselves, which are constantly vetting millions of pieces of content in real time to promote trust and safety and protect users, consistent with their terms of service.”