23 March 2018
Website operators in the United States, who permit others to post defamatory content on their websites, can take comfort from a recent decision by the New York State Court of Appeals, Shiamili v. The Real Estate Group of New York, 2011 N.Y. LEXIS 1452 (N.Y. June 14, 2011), holding that, under the federal Communications Decency Act (CDA), 47 U.S.C. §230, they are immune from suit unless they “develop” the defamatory content.
Shiamili demonstrates that U.S. Internet defamation laws are geared to protect robust free speech and political and cultural diversity. In this regard, U.S. law is substantially more protective of website operators than U.K. law, although moves are afoot in London to assist website operators.
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