Ancora sul safe harbour ex § 230 CDA: ma questa volta addirittura nella lite Prager University v. Google

Arriva di fronte ad una corte statale la lite Prager University c. Google: Corte di appello dello stato di california, 6th appellate district, 5 diembre 2022, H047714).

Passate decisioni nella stessa lite acquisirono notorietà per essere diventate preecedenti invocati in numerose sentenze successive.

Prager Univ. fa parte del movimento MAGA (Make America Great Again) e pare diffonda disinformazione, che google censura.

La censura però è sia contrattualmente rpevista che non sindacabile dal §230 CDa (e’ il primo aspetto quello più interessante).

Solo due passaggi significativi riporto:

<<Prager’s contention that defendants are themselves an information content provider—in that they developed algorithms used in determining whether to restrict access to Prager’s videos—does nothing to defeat section 230 immunity. Prager pleads no facts from which defendants’ use of algorithms would render them providers of information content. What Prager alleges is the use of “an automated filtering algorithm that examines certain ‘signals’ like the video’s metadata, title, and the language used in the video. The algorithm looks for certain ‘signals’ to determine if rules or criteria are violated so as to warrant segregation in Restricted Mode.” To the extent that an automated filtering algorithm is itself information, defendants of course created it; what is also apparent from Prager’s pleaded facts, however, is that defendants have not “provided [it] through the Internet or any other interactive computer service” within the meaning of section 230(f)(3), to Prager or anyone else…

Prager cites no authority for the proposition that algorithmic restriction of user content—squarely within the letter and spirit of section 230’s promotion of content moderation—should be subject to liability from which the algorithmic promotion of content inciting violence has been held immune…

Prager’s claims turn not on the creation of algorithms, but on the defendants’ curation of Prager’s information content irrespective of the means employed: it is not the algorithm but Prager’s content which defendants publish (or depublish). To the extent Prager’s claims principally rest on allegations that defendants violated a duty under state law to exercise their editorial control in a particular manner, defendants are immune under section 230 from the claims Prager brings in this suit>>.

E poi:

<<The Murphy court, and others, have held that the CDA foreclosed liability where plaintiffs have identified no enforceable promise allegedly breached…Prager’s contractual theories are barred because they are irreconcilable with the express terms of the integrated agreements….

the written contracts governing Prager’s relationship with defendants—limited to YouTube’s Terms of Service (YouTube TOS) and Google LLC’s AdSense Terms of Service (AdSense TOS), which the trial court judicially noticed without objection— contain no provision purporting to constrain defendants’ conduct as publishers…

Though consistent with Prager’s assertion that YouTube makes public-facing representations giving the impression that it voluntarily filters the content on its platform using a discrete set of neutral policies, the Community Guidelines in no way purport to bind defendants to publish any given video, or to remove a video only for violation of those guidelines….

As with the Community Guidelines, Prager conflates user guidelines with provider duties. Prager does not explain how defendants’ illustration in the guidelines of unsuitable content that “will result in a ‘limited or no ads’ monetization state” confers on users a contractual right that all other user content be monetized. At most, the Advertiser-friendly content guidelines permit users to “request human review of [monetization] decisions made by [defendants’] automated systems.” Thus, neither the Community Guidelines nor the Advertiser-friendly guidelines conflict with or limit defendants’ express reservation of rights….

the CDA may permit a state law claim concerning publishing activity based on a specific contractual promise, section 230 notwithstanding; this does not mean that the CDA requires an express contractual reservation of publishing discretion as condition precedent to section 230 immunity from state law claims>>

(notizia della sentenza e link alla stessa dal blog del prof. Eric Goldman)