Altra conferma (d’appello) che Twitter non è “State actor”, per cui nei suoi confronti non opera la protezione costituzionale del diritto di parola

Altra conferma che le piattaforme digitali non sono State actors ai fini della protezione da Primo  Emendamento: così Appello del 9 circuito, Rutenberg. c. Twitter e Dorsey , 18 05.2022, D.C. No. 4:21-cv-00548-YGR.

Motivazione breve , che conferma il primo grado:

<< The district court properly dismissed Rutenberg’s First Amendment claim: She did not allege sufficient facts to infer that the defendants (collectively, “Twitter” or “the company”) engaged in state action when the company moderated or suspended the former President’s Twitter account. The First Amendment’s Free Speech Clause “prohibits the government—not a private party—from abridging speech.” Prager Univ. v. Google LLC, 951 F.3d 991, 996 (9th Cir. 2020) (citations omitted). Dismissal was proper because the complaint lacked “a cognizable legal theory” or “sufficient well-pleaded, nonconclusory factual allegation[s]” to state a  plausible claim for relief. Beckington v. Am. Airlines, Inc., 926 F.3d 595, 604 (9th Cir. 2019) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted).

Rutenberg offers insufficient facts to infer the “close nexus” between Twitter’s conduct on the one hand and the government on the other, which is required to find that Twitter’s conduct constituted state action. Brentwood Acad. v. Tenn. Secondary Sch. Athletic Ass’n, 531 U.S. 288, 295 (2001). To the contrary, Rutenberg acknowledges that Twitter exercised its own “discretion and authority” in moderating President Trump’s account, and that Twitter acted as President Trump’s “opponent” in doing so. Twitter was not a “willful participant” in any “joint activity” with the President, and its conduct was not state action. Lugar v.
Edmondson Oil Co., Inc.
, 457 U.S. 922, 941 (1982) (quoting United States v. Price, 383 U.S. 787, 794 (1966)). Rutenberg’s contention that Twitter “abused” a delegation of authority when it moderated President Trump’s account is of no moment. This “abuse of authority” doctrine “does not apply” where, as here, “the
challenged action is undertaken by a private party rather than a state official.”
Collins v. Womancare, 878 F.2d 1145, 1152 (9th Cir. 1989) (emphasis omitted) (citing Lugar, 457 U.S. at 940). Indeed, it would be “ironic” to conclude that Twitter’s imposition of sanctions against a public official—sanctions the official “steadfastly opposed”—is state action. Nat’l Collegiate Athletic Ass’n v. Tarkanian, 488 U.S. 179, 199 (1988). >>

E del resto non ci fu alcuna delega dal presidente Trump a Tw. (chissà cosa aveva allegato l’attrice!!): << Similarly, President Trump did not delegate a “public function” to Twitter within the meaning of Supreme Court and circuit precedent. Halleck, 139 S. Ct. at 1929. The relevant function here—moderating speech on the Twitter platform—is not “an activity that only governmental entities have traditionally performed.” Id. at 1930; see also id. (“[M]erely hosting speech by others is not a traditional, exclusive public function . . . .”); Prager Univ., 951 F.3d at 998 (moderation of content on video-streaming platform was not a “public function”) >>

Si noti che l’attrice si doleva della rimozione ingiustificata dell’account Tw. non proprio ma del presidente Trump.

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

La senatrice Warren chiede ad Amazon di modificare il suo algoritmo per combattere la misinformation: è inibizione del diritto di parola a carico delle pubblicazioni contrarie al mainstream e da ciò penalizzate?

Affronta in via sommaria il tema il Western District of Washington at Seattle, 9 maggio 2022, Case No. 2:21-cv-01508-BJR, giudice Barbara Rothstein, Kennedy e altri c. Elizabeth Warren (in proprio e nella funzione) (v. qui la pagina sul caso in CourtListener)

Il libro inibito era <<The Truth About COVID-19>>.

EW scrisse ad Amazon lamentando che favoriva la misinformation in tema di covid.-19 .

Concludeva la lettera byask[ing] [Amazon to] perform an immediate review of [its] algorithms and, within 14 days, provide both a public report . . . and a plan to modify these algorithms.” Id. at 5. The letter also asked Amazon to respond to four questions about its search algorithms and “Best Seller” labels, so that Sen. Warren could “fully understand Amazon’s role in facilitating misinformation about COVID-19 and its actions to address the issue.” Id. at 5-6.

Il libro era stato messo in vendita su Amazon e Barnes§Noble , che -dopo la pubblicità data alla lettera- lo esclusero dalle vendite oppure in modo opaco ne diminuirono la visibilità (overtly demoting, downgrading, or otherwise suppressing The Truth About COVID-19” without informing Plaintiffs. )

Essi citano allora EW per farle ritirare la lettera e inibirle simili condotte in futuro.

La Corte -prevedibilmente- rigetta. A nulla serve il precedente Bantham Books del 1963 invocato dagli attori, ove la censura era stata assai chiara, e analizzato dalla Corte. p. 7-8

First, the “thinly veiled threats” in Bantam Books were very thinly veiled. The commission’s notices were “phrased virtually as orders” and made explicit reference to the attorney general, the police, and the possibility of criminal prosecution. Id. at 67-68. Here, Defendant Warren’s alleged threat is derived primarily from her statements that the circulation of The Truth About COVID-19 was “potentially unlawful” and that COVID-19 misinformation has “led to untold illnesses and death.” Dkt. 8, Exh. A, at 1- 2; see Dkt. 7 at 10-17. Plaintiffs argue that booksellers could interpret these statements as threatening them with “legal liability for wrongful death or homicide.” Plaintiffs will have difficulty establishing that this is a reasonable or likely interpretation of Defendant Warren’s letter. The two noted phrases are not in the same paragraph and, even if they were, equating them to an accusation of homicide requires a vivid imagination. Furthermore, the vast majority of Defendant Warren’s letter is dedicated to persuasion—by arguing, for example, that “[o]ther major technology companies have recognized their role in propagating misinformation” and, unlike Amazon, taken steps to address it. Dk.8, Exh. A, at 5.

Next, Defendant Warren is far removed from the power to legally punish booksellers for continuing to sell The Truth About COVID-19. Although Plaintiffs are correct that “the fact that a public-official defendant lacks direct regulatory or decisionmaking authority over a plaintiff [or third-party publisher] . . . is not necessarily dispositive,” that does not mean it will not be dispositive in most cases. Dkt. 7 at 11 (citing, 807 F.3d at 230).

(…) Put another way, the threat of legal sanctions can act as an unlawful restriction on speech, but a threat will only be perceived as such if there is a realistic chance the threatened action can be carried out. Plaintiffs are unlikely to successfully demonstrate that the booksellers reasonably perceived Defendant Warren’s letter as a threat. Cf. id. at 68 (“The Commission’s notices [were]
phrased virtually as orders [and] reasonably understood to be such by the distributor . . . .”).

In summary, the Court finds that Plaintiffs are unlikely to succeed on the merits of their claim that Defendant Warren’s letter constitutes a prior restraint on speech.

Il fumus boni iuris dunque non viene ravvisato: condivisibilmente , direi.

Altra negata violazione del Primo Emendamento a seguito di blocco di account Twitter per Covid-19 misinformation

Non passa nemmeno qui la domanda di violazione del Primo Emendamento per blocco dell’account Twitter, basata su State action costituita da ingerenze/coercizioni del governo  verso la piattaforma.

Si tratta del Distretto sud dell’Ohio – Eastern division,  Case No. 2:22-cv-1776, 05.05.2022, MARK CHANGIZI c. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, et al.

In questo caso però  la domanda era stata avanzata solo verso il servizio sanitario nazionale HHS, non verso Twitter : <<Plaintiffs thus accuse HHS of “instrumentalizing” or “commandeering” Twitter to both censor and “chill” online criticism of the government’s pandemic response—activity which they assert infringed (and, in some respect, continues to infringe) (1) their rights under the First and Fourth Amendments of the United States Constitution, (2) the Administrative Procedure Act (the “APA”), and (3) 42 U.S.C. § 264(a). They now seek a range of declaratory and injunctive relief, including a preliminary injunction which requires HHS to both retract the RFI and abstain “from enforcing coercive policies or conditions that exert pressure upon Twitter and other technology companies to censor users.”>>

Qui interessa solo quella basata sul Primo Emendamento .  Il giudice non ne accerta alcuna vioalzione , alla luce della carenza di prova di coerzcizione di HHS verso Twitter e , sicchè non viene ravvisata State action : << To that end, the Court agrees with HHS that its efforts to confront COVID-19 misinformation, as alleged, do not “reasonably” constitute an exercise of “coercive power” over Twitter. Blum, 457 U.S. at 1004. Thus, because Plaintiffs’ allegations do not pass muster under the “state compulsion” framework, and because they do not make any colorable argument that any other exception to the state-action doctrine applies, Plaintiffs’ First Amendment claim fails>>, p 28

C’è da chiedersi se non ci sia responsabilità professionale per il legale che consigli simili azioni , dato il fermo e contrario orientamento giurisprudenziale (erano state però avanzate anche altre domande giudiziali, oltre a quella basata sul 1° Emend.)

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

Altro rigetto di domanda per presunta violazione del Primo Emendamento a seguito di blocco di account Facebook e Twitter

Implacabile la giurisprudenza USA nel continuare ad affermare che la protezione costituzionale del diritto di parola è concessa solo verso lo Stato o organi pubblici,  non verso privati (quali sono i pur giganteschi social media).

Ora è la volta del Distretto Nord della California a firma del giudice Breyer con provv. 5 maggio 2022, Case 3:22-cv-00737-CRB , Hart. c. Facebook e altri , a seguito di blocco dell’account per ripetuta disinformazione soprattutto in tema di covid-19.

Misinformazione che violava i terms of service (Facebook:  forbade users from sharing “anything . . . [t]hat is unlawful, misleading, discriminatory, or fraudulent.”; Twitter: prohibits using “Twitter’s services to share false or misleading information about COVID-19 which may lead to harm.”).

In particolare sono rigettate le due modalità prospettate dall’attore, evidentemente per superare il dettato costituzionale e la sua interpretazione corrente. Infatti non ricorre nè la cd joint action (tra privato e potere pubblico; v. nota 4 << It is still more difficult to understand how general legislative debates, such as those surrounding Section 230, could provide a President with coercive power over a private company sufficient to confer state action>>) nè la government coercicion, pp. 9-15.

Allo scopo, l’attore aveva citato pure il presidente Biden e il responsabile sanitario Murphy in proprio.  In particolare aveva allegato che <<Biden and Murthy “directed” social media platforms to make four changes: (1) to “measure and publicly share the impact of misinformation on their platform”; (2) to “create a robust enforcement strategy that bridges their properties and provides transparency about the rules”; (3) to “take faster action against harmful posts” because “information travels quite quickly on social media platforms”; and (4) to “promote quality information in their feed algorithm.” Id. ¶¶ 14-17. Hart also alleges that Biden directed Murthy to create a 22-page advisory with “instructions on how social media companies should remove posts with which Murthy and Biden disagree.” Id. ¶ 18.  Finally, Hart alleges that Biden “threatened” social media companies who do not comply by “publicly shaming and humiliating them, stating, ‘They’re killing people”)>>.

Da noi per fortuna l’art. 2 Cost. si applica pacificamente pure verso i soggetti privati.

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

Ancora sul diritto di parola vs. Twitter : non c’è violazione del Primo emendamento poichè non è State Actor (sul caso Trump c. Twitter)

Altra decisione nella lite Trump e altri c. Twitter (Distr. Nord della California , 6 maggio 2022, case 3:21-cv-08378-JD ) prodotta dalla nota censura  operata da Tw. contro il primo.

Anche qui va male all’ex presidente: Tw. no è State ACtor in alcun modo e dunque egli non può appellarsi al diritto di parola del Primo Emendamento.

Notare l’inziale understatement del collegio: <<Plaintiffs are not starting from a position of strength. Twitter is a private company, and “the First Amendment applies only to governmental abridgements of speech, and not to alleged abridgements by private companies>>.

<<Plaintiffs’ only hope of stating a First Amendment claim is to plausibly allege that Twitter was in effect operating as the government under the “state-action doctrine.” This doctrine provides that, in some situations, “governmental authority may dominate an activity to such an extent that its participants must be deemed to act with the authority of the government and, as a result, be subject to constitutional constraints>>.

<< The salient question under the state action doctrine is whether “the conduct allegedly causing the deprivation of a federal right” is “fairly attributable to the State.” >>

Si pensi che, circa la prova della state action nel caso specifico ,  <<in plaintiffs’ view, these account actions were the result of coercion by members of Congress affiliated with the Democratic Party>>!!

E’ pure rigettata la domadna di esame della costituzionalità del § 230 CDA perchè manca la injury richiesta allo scopo

Il blocco dell’account Twitter per post ingannevoli o fuorvianti (misleading) è coperto dal safe harbour ex § 230 CDA

Il distretto nord della California con provv. 29.04.2022, No. C 21-09818 WHA, Berenson v. Twitter, decide la domanda giudiziale allegante un illegittimo blocco dell’account per post fuorvianti (misleading) dopo la nuova Twitter policy five-strike in tema di covid 19.

E la rigetta, riconoscendo il safe harbour ex § 230.c.2.a del CDA.

A nulla valgono le allegazioni attoree intorno alla mancanza di buona fede in Twitter: << With the exception of the claims for breach of contract and promissory estoppel, all claims in this action are barred by 47 U.S.C. Section 230(c)(2)(A), which provides, “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of — any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected.” For an internet platform like Twitter, Section 230 precludes liability for removing content and preventing content from being posted that the platform finds would cause its users harm, such as misinformation regarding COVID-19. Plaintiff’s allegations regarding the leadup to his account suspension do not provide a sufficient factual underpinning for his conclusion Twitter lacked good faith. Twitter constructed a robust five-strike COVID-19 misinformation policy and, even if it applied those strikes in error, that alone would not show bad faith. Rather, the allegations are consistent with Twitter’s good faith effort to respond to clearly objectionable content posted by users on its platform. See Barnes v. Yahoo!, Inc., 570 F.3d 1096, 1105 (9th Cir. 2009); Domen v. Vimeo, Inc., 433 F. Supp. 3d 592, 604 (S.D.N.Y. 2020) (Judge Stewart D. Aaron)>>.

Invece non  rientrano nella citata esimente (quindi la causa prosegue su quelle) le domande basate su violazione contrattuale e promissory estoppel.

La domanda basata sulla vioalzione del diritto di parola è pure respinta per il solito motivo della mancanza di state action, essendo Tw. un  ente privato: <<Aside from Section 230, plaintiff fails to even state a First Amendment claim. The free speech clause only prohibits government abridgement of speech — plaintiff concedes Twitter is a private company (Compl. ¶15). Manhattan Cmty. Access Corp. v. Halleck, 139 S. Ct. 1921, 1928 (2019). Twitter’s actions here, moreover, do not constitute state action under the joint action test because the combination of (1) the shift in Twitter’s enforcement position, and (2) general cajoling from various federal officials regarding misinformation on social media platforms do not plausibly assert Twitter conspired or was otherwise a willful participant in government action. See Heineke v. Santa Clara Univ., 965 F.3d 1009, 1014 (9th Cir. 2020).  For the same reasons, plaintiff has not alleged state action under the governmental nexus test either, which is generally subsumed by the joint action test. Naoko Ohno v. Yuko Yasuma, 723 F.3d 984, 995 n.13 (9th Cir. 2013). Twitter “may be a paradigmatic public square on the Internet, but it is not transformed into a state actor solely by providing a forum for speech.” Prager Univ. v. Google LLC, 951 F.3d 991, 997 (9th Cir. 2020) (cleaned up, quotation omitted). >>

(notizia e link alla sentenza dal blog del prof. Eric goldman)

Altra conferma (d’appello) che Facebook non è “state actor” e che dunque l’arbitraria rimozione di post non viola il Primo Emendamento

SEcondo l’orientamento dominante il diritto di parola non ha la tutela costituzionale del 1 Emendamento quando la sua inibizione provenga da soggetto privato, quale il filtraggio operato dalle piattaforme digitali.

A tale orientameno si adegua l’Appello del secondo circuito 27.04.2022, Brock v. Zuckerberg e altri, 21-1796-cv .

Motivazione leggera e non particolarmente interessante.

Di fronte alla duplice causa petendi <<two principal arguments as to why the removal of his Facebook posts constituted state action: (1) Facebook was a publicly held company [sic!]; and (2) Facebook was the equivalent of a “public square” or “public forum.” >>, la Corte rigetta.

In particolare osserva:

<< Although Brock alleged some facts, construed liberally, as to his first argument, it clearly fails as a matter of law.   “The management of a corporation is not a public function; and a state’s permission for a corporation to organize itself in a particular manner is not the delegation of governmental authority.” Cranley v. Nat’l Life Ins. Co. of Vt., 318 F.3d 105, 112 (2d Cir. 2003).

As to Brock’s assertion that Facebook is a public square, he failed to make any non-conclusory factual allegations to support that claim.   Instead, the amended complaint merely repeats the legal conclusion that Facebook is a public forum and public square. While we construe pro se complaints liberally, legal conclusions “must be supported by factual allegations,” Ruston v. Town Bd. for Town of Skaneateles, 610 F.3d 55, 59 (2d Cir. 2010) (internal quotation marks omitted). None of Brock’s conclusory allegations “nudged” his claims “across the line from conceivable to plausible.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).
In his opposition to the motion to dismiss, Brock conclusorily asserted for
the first time that Facebook is a state actor because it performs the traditional public function of delivering mail. Brock did not raise this argument on appeal or challenge the district court’s conclusion that he cannot “avoid the state action
question” by analogizing “Facebook’s provision of an online messaging service to

the government’s traditional provision of mail services through the United States
Postal Service,” App’x at 188–89.

It is well settled in the Second Circuit “that issues not discussed in an appellate brief will normally be deemed abandoned.” Beatty v. United States, 293 F.3d 627, 632 (2d Cir. 2002); see also Cruz v. Gomez, 202 F.3d 593, 596 n.3 (2d Cir. 2000) (“When a litigant – including a pro se litigant – raises an issue before the district court but does not raise it on appeal, the issue is abandoned.”).  And although “[a]n abandoned claim may nevertheless be considered if manifest injustice would otherwise result,” Ocean Ships, Inc. v. Stiles, 315 F.3d 111, 117 (2d Cir. 2002), such circumstances are not present here; Brock’s complaint and opposition below is devoid of any facts that would support a conclusion that Facebook has assumed a heretofore exclusively public function>>.

E’ assorbita la censura sul § 230 CDA ,.

E’ noto che da noi, invece, la tutela dei diritti fondamentali ex art. 2 Cost. opera anche nelle relazioni tra soggetti privati.

(notizia e link alla sentenza dal sito del prof. Eric Goldman)

Ritwittare aggiungendo commenti diffamatori non è protetto dal safe harbour ex 230 CDA

Byrne è citato per diffamazione da Us Dominion (azienda usa che fornisce software per la gestione dei processi elettorali) per dichiaraizoni e tweet offensivi.

Egli cerca l’esimente del safe harbour ex 230 CDA ma gli va male: è infatti content provider.

Il mero twittare un link (a materiale diffamatorio) pootrebbe esserne coperto: ma non i commenti accompagnatori.

Così il Trib. del District of Columbia 20.04.4022, Case 1:21-cv-02131-CJN, US Dominion v. Byrne: <<A so-called “information content provider” does not enjoy immunity under § 230.   Klayman v. Zuckerberg, 753 F.3d 1354, 1356 (D.C. Cir. 2014). Any “person or entity that is responsible, in whole or in part, for the creation or development of information provided through the Internet or any other interactive computer service” qualifies as an “information content provider.” 47 U.S.C. § 230(f)(3); Bennett, 882 F.3d at 1166 (noting a dividing line between service and content in that ‘interactive computer service’ providers—which are generally eligible for CDA section 230 immunity—and ‘information content provider[s],’ which are not entitled to immunity”).
While § 230 may provide immunity for someone who merely shares a link on Twitter,
Roca Labs, Inc. v. Consumer Opinion Corp., 140 F. Supp. 3d 1311, 1321 (M.D. Fla. 2015), it does not immunize someone for making additional remarks that are allegedly defamatory, see La Liberte v. Reid, 966 F.3d 79, 89 (2d Cir. 2020). Here, Byrne stated that he “vouch[ed] for” the evidence proving that Dominion had a connection to China. See
Compl. ¶ 153(m). Byrne’s alleged statements accompanying the retweet therefore fall outside the ambit of § 230 immunity>>.

Questione non difficile: che il mero caricamente di un link sia protetto, è questione interessante; che invece i commenti accompagnatori ingiuriosi rendano l’autore un content provider, è certo.

I social media, utilizzati da un politico locale per attività ufficiali, costituiscono “public forum”, soggetto alla libertà di parola ex Primo Emendamento (ennesima conferma)

Il Tribunale NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS EASTERN DIVISION cofnerma che la pagina Facebook di un consigliere circoscrizionale (Alderman) del 45° Ward di Chcago (v. l’elenco qui)  è public forum. Quindi soggetta alla lbiertà di parola costituzionale sicchè la censura da aprte deel Consigliere dei post sgraditi non è ammessa, tranne i strettissimi limiti ricosciuti dalla giurisprudenza.

Si tratta della decisione 10.02.2022, PETE CZOSNYKA, et al. v. JAMES GARDINER, Alderman of the 45th Ward of the City of Chicago,Case: 1:21-cv-03240  .

<<In his motion, Alderman Gardiner argues that plaintiffs have insufficiently alleged that hisFacebook Page is a public forum, especially because Facebook is a private entity. The SeventhCircuit has held that public forums are “locations or channels of communication that thegovernment opens for use by the public for expressive activity.” Surita v. Hyde, 665 F.3d 860, 869(7th Cir. 2011).

Indeed, federal courts have “extended public speech protection to less traditional,designated public forums.” One Wisconsin Now v. Kremer, 354 F. Supp. 3d 940, 953 (W.D. Wis. 2019).The Supreme Court discussed similar conceptions of less traditional public forums in Packingham,which addressed the issue of a lack of access to public forums in our “cyber age,” specifically socialmedia. See Packingham v. North Carolina, — U.S. —, 137 S. Ct. 1730, 1736, 198 L. Ed. 2d 273 (2017).The Supreme Court provides guidance in determining whether a designated forum has beenintentionally created by the government, including (1) the “policy and practice of the government”and (2) “the nature of the property and its compatibility with expressive activity.” Cornelius v.NAACP Legal Defense & Educ. Fund. Inc., 473 U.S. 788, 802, 105 S.Ct. 3439, 87 L.Ed.2d 567 (1985).

Although the Seventh Circuit has yet to address this issue, other Circuit Courts have reliedon Cornelius’ expressive activity factor when examining whether social media platforms canconstitute a public forum. For example, the Fourth Circuit has held that expressive activity can bewhen one “intentionally open[s] the public comment section” and invites commentary, noticeablymarked by an interactive component of (say) a Facebook Page, “on [any] issue, request, criticism,complement or just …thoughts.” Davison v. Randall, 912 F.3d 666, 682 (4th Cir. 2019), asamended (Jan. 9, 2019).

Similarly, the Second Circuit has ruled in the context of Twitter (ananalogous social media platform), that blocking an account from certain users prevents expressiveCase: 1:21-cv-03240 Document #: 39 Filed: 02/10/22 Page 3 of 5 PageID #:1854conduct. See Knight First Amendment Inst. at Columbia Univ. v. Trump, 928 F.3d 226, 237 (2d Cir. 2019)(“The Account was intentionally opened for public discussion when the President, upon assumingoffice, repeatedly used the Account as an official vehicle for governance and made its interactivefeatures accessible to the public without limitation.”).

Thus, based on Packingham and the Cornelius factors, federal courts have concluded that whenthe government or a government official uses a social media account for official business, theinteractive portions of the social media platforms are public forums for First Amendment purposes.  See Davison, 912 F.3d at 682; Knight First Amendment Inst., 928 F.3d at 237; Felts v. Reed, 504 F.Supp.3d978, 985 (E.D. Mo. 2020); One Wisconsin, 354 F.Supp. 3d at 953. The Court agrees with thispersuasive authority.

Correspondingly, the fact that the government only has temporary control over theFacebook Page and that the government does not own the social media platform is not determinativeof whether the property is, in fact, sufficiently controlled by the government to make it a forum inrelation to the First Amendment. See Knight First Amendment Inst., 928 F.3d at 235. Specifically,control is not determined based on private or public ownership, but instead on the government’sexercise of control over the relevant aspects of the social media platformI>>.

Sentenza breve e dall’esito scontato.

Più interssante sarebbe chiedersi:

1) quando la pagina Fb del politico diventa solo privata e non più soggetta al 1° Emend.? Deve mancare di ogni e qualunque riferimento all’attività politico/amministrativa?

2) quale sarebbe da noi la valutazione giuridica di un caso analogo?

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

Post offensivi/osceni sui social e diritto di parola: protezione ridotta, se non assente

Il Tribunale del Colorado , 31.1.2022, Case 1:20-cv-01977-PAB-KMT, Sgaggio c. De Young e altri, decide sulla domanda presentata da un utente Facebook contro il Dipartimento di Polizia di Woodland Park , che lo aveva bannato dalla pagina Facebook del dipartimenot stesso per post ingiuriosi.

L’azione era basata sul Primo Emednamento (libertà di parola).

Si trattava dunque certo di State Actor.  Però i post erano offensivi o addirittura osceni: e per essi la tutela del Diritto di Parola è ridotta, se non assente.

I post erano: << a) He posted the link to the Woodland Park Video and stated, “You target sick kids to get your overtime pay.. [sic] That’s why you are a pig.”

b). He posted ,“Why did you punk ass pigs remove my post. This is a pubic [sic] forum. I’m going to sue the chief of police, the city of Woodland Park, and whatever punk ass bitch remove my post. Your actions are unconstitutional and violation of federal law 18 usc 241,242.. [sic] see you pigs in Federal court..”

c. He posted the link to the Woodland Park Video and stated, “You target sick children to Enrich [sic] officers [yellow police officer emoji] with overtime pay.. [sic] dirty ass cops.”

d. He stated, “Tyler Pope they violate the constitution daily. All too stupid to understand the oath they took. We the people will bring these terrorists into federal court.” (Ex. D, Pl. Dep. Ex. 12 at 1–2; Ex. E, Pl. Dep. at 106:3–6, 198:13–16.)>>

La corte rigetta appunto affermando la riduzione/assenza di protezione , quando ricorra obscenity, senza che ciò costituisca discriminazione: <<The restrictions on Plaintiff’s speech in this case do not run afoul of the First Amendment. He alleges that his freedom of speech was infringed because of the actions Defendant De Young and someone allegedly at the City took restricting his ability to post on certain Facebook pages after he used indecent and obscene language.

Plaintiff used the words “pig,” “terrorist,” “ass,” and “bitch” to refer to the police, and he baselessly and inaccurately accused the police of targeting sick children for personal profit.

The evidence indicates there were policies in place prohibiting the use of indecent and obscene language and that Plaintiff’s speech violated such policies. There is no genuine dispute of material fact that two other  individuals who also responded on the Police Department’s page with criticism of the warrant’s execution that were articulated with non-obscene language and, thus, not in violation of policy and did not have their posts removed.

Thus, the evidence clearly establishes that the restrictions  occurred solely because of Plaintiff’s indecent and obscenity language, not because Defendant De Young or the City were trying to censor Plaintiff’s posts about the warrant.>>

E poi: <<Plaintiff’s argument that these words are not obscene or indecent (Resp. at 6–7) goes against common sense. “Punk ass bitch” is not a literary turn of phrase. (Id. at 7.) Moreover, it is inaccurate to refer to the police as “terrorists” (id.), when there is no dispute that the execution of the search warrant was lawful. (Undisputed Facts, ¶ 1. ( ……)   Plaintiff’s argument that these words are not obscene or indecent (Resp. at 6–7) goes against common sense. “Punk ass bitch” is not a literary turn of phrase. (Id. at 7.)  Moreover, it is inaccurate to refer to the police as “terrorists” (id.), when there is no dispute that the execution of the search warrant was lawful. (Undisputed Facts, ¶ 1.>>

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