Le etichette poste da Facebobok sopra i post degli utenti, a seguito di fact checking, non sono diffamatorie ma esercizio del diritto di parola

Facebook pone due etichette a due post (video) di un giornalista leggermente negazionsta circa il surriscaldamento globale:

  1. Missing Context” e sotto “Independent fact-checkers say the information could mislead people.” e sotto ancora a button with the words “See Why” (premendo il quale si aprono ulteriori finestre spiegatorie)
  2. “Partly False Information” s ttto “Checked by independent fact-checkers.”, sotto ancora appare il button with the words “See Why.” (premendo il quale si aprono ulteriori finestre spiegatorie)

Il giornalista cita Fb per diffamazione.

La corte del distretto nord della California con sentenza 11 ottobre 2022 Case 5:21-cv-07385-VKD , Stossel v. Meta, però rigetta perchè, stante la disciplina anti SLAPP (mirante ad evitare inibizioni o intimidazioni della libera espressione del pensiero su temi di pubblico interesse) , l’attività di Fb è coperta dal Primo Emendamento.

E’ veo che questo si applica a espressioni di giudizi e non di fatti, p. 12 righe 10-11: però l’attività di etichettatura da fact checking consiste proprio in giudizi.

Direi che la sentenza è esatta: ci mancherebbe che la piattaforma non potesse suggerire avvertenze di possibile falsità dei post dei suoi utenti.

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

Uso di marchio altrui in NFTs (non-fungible tokens): respinta l’eccezione artistica e quella da diritto di parola

Il distretto sud di New York decide (per ora) la lite Hermes Int’l v. Rothschild con sentenza 18 maggio 2022, caso n 22-CV-384 (JSR) , rigettando l’istanza di dismissal del convenuto.

L’attore è la nota casa di moda Hermes (H.) . Convenuto è l’artista digitale Mason Rotschild (R., proveniente dal mondo della moda) che ha creato e diffuso in commercio NFTs riproducenti le esclusive borse Hermes “Birkin”, chiamandole “MetaBirkins” (anche se con qualche modifica: sfuocatura + copertura di pelliccia).

H. aziona il diritto di marchio. R. si difende in primis eccependo l’artisticità e invocando il Primo Emendamento sulla base del precedente Rogers v. Grimaldi del 1989 (effettivamente abbastanza simile , relativo al film Ginger e Fred di Fellini).

La corte concede che si applichi il test ideato dal precedente cit. ma non lo ritiene soddisfatto perchè: 1) l’uso del marchio è artisticamente non necessitato (è un pretesto), 2) è anche misleading circa l’origine del prodotto.

L’uso nel commercio di segni distintivi iconici altrui (sopratutto dell’alta moda) sta diventando un tema importante e di non facile soluzione.

IN linea di principio, essendo forte il rischio di approfittamento della notorietà altrui, l’eccezione di esercizio di un diritto fondamentale (libertà di critica o di espressione) sarà da accogliere solo in pochi e evidenti casi.

DA un lato si potrebbe dire che anche chi sta nel commercio -seppur da artista; o anche non da artista, caso ancora più complicato- ha diritto di esprimersi sui temi socioculturali; dall’altro però potrebbe replicarsi che lo dovrebbe fare non nella sede commerciale ma come privato (perchè mai non in sede artistica, si potrebbe controreplicare, trattandosi di artista) e/o che vi sia un minimo di elaborazione culturale nella proposta artistica che poi cade sub iudice.

Il nostro art. 21.1 cpi  pone si il criterio genrale della correttezza professionale ma poi non menziona il diritto di artista e/o di parola.  Forse con molto sforzo lo si potrebbe ravvisare nella lettera c).

Riporto solo il passagggio in sentenza su concetto e pratica di NFTs, che non tutti ancora conoscono:

<<FTs, or “non-fungible tokens,” are units of data stored on a blockchain that are created to transfer ownership of either physical things or digital media. Id. ¶ 4. When NFTs are created, or “minted,” they are listed on an NFT marketplace where NFTs can be sold, traded, etc., in accordance with “smart contracts” that govern the transfers. Id. ¶¶ 61, 63. Because NFTs can be easily sold and resold with a transaction history securely stored on the blockchain, NFTs can function as investments that can store value and increase value over time. Id. ¶ 69.

When an NFT is linked to digital media, the NFT and corresponding smart contract are stored on the blockchain and are linked to digital media files (e.g., JPEG images, .mp4 video files, or .mp3 music files) to create a uniquely identifiable digital media file. Id. ¶ 60. The NFTs and smart contracts are stored on the blockchain (so that they can be traced), but the digital media files to which the NFTs point are stored separately, usually on either a single central server or a decentralized network. Id. ¶ 62.

This means that an NFT could link to a digital media file that is just an image of a handbag or could link to a different kind of digital media file that is a virtual handbag that can be worn in a virtual world. Fashion companies are just starting to branch out into offering virtual fashion items that can be worn in virtual worlds online (most commonly, for now, in the context of videogames, but with potential to expand into other virtual worlds and platforms as those develop), and NFTs can be used to create and sell such virtual fashion items. However, while Hermes calls what Rothschild sells “digital handbags,” they do not dispute that what Rothschild sells are digital images of (faux fur, not leather) Birkin bags, and not virtually wearable Birkin bags.

Fashion brands are beginning to create and offer digital replicas of their real-life products to put in digital fashion shows or otherwise use in the metaverse. Am. Compl. ¶ 66. NFTs can link to any kind of digital media, including virtual fashion items that can be worn in virtual worlds online. Id. Brands sometimes partner with collaborators in offering co-branded virtual fashion products. Id. ¶ 67.>>

Le pagine Facebook e Twitter dei Trustees di una scuola pubblica sono “public forum” e devono rispettare il Primo Emendamento

Aprofondita sentenza di appello sull’oggetto, resa dal 9° Circuito, 27 luglio 2022, Nos. 21-55118 e 21-55157, D.C. No. 3:17-cv-02215-BEN-JLB, Garnier v. O’Connor-Ratcliff  e Zane.

Alcuni Trustees del Poway Unified School District (“PUSD” or the “District”) Board of Trustees (scuola pubblica, parrebbe: non si potrebbe ravvisare public forum per una scuola privata) bannarono due genitori dalla pagina Facebook (F.) per le loro critiche continue e estese , anche se non offensive

I genitori agirono per violazione del Primo  Emendamento (libertà di parola)  in relazione al 42 U.S. Code § 1983 – Civil action for deprivation of rights.

L’appello conferma il primo grado dicendo che ricorre State Action (color of state law) e che il Primo Emendamento va rispettato anche sui social media, se usati nel dialogo con i cittadini: essi infatti diventano Designated Public Fora.

Succo: << The Garniers’ claims present an issue of first impression
in this Circuit: whether a state official violates the First
Amendment by creating a publicly accessible social media
page related to his or her official duties and then blocking
certain members of the public from that page because of the
nature of their comments. For the following reasons, we
hold that, under the circumstances presented here, the
Trustees have acted under color of state law by using their
social media pages as public fora in carrying out their official
duties. We further hold that, applying First Amendment
public forum criteria, the restrictions imposed on the
Garniers’ expression are not appropriately tailored to serve
a significant governmental interest and so are invalid. We
therefore affirm the district court judgment
>>, p. 6.

Si v. poi:

– i quattro criteri per ravvisare State Action, p. 18.

– il concetto di <designated public forum> e di <limited public forum>, p. 35.

– non è spam giustificativo della censura la continuata rieptizione di post critici, p. 39 ss

– l’usare i filtri Word, permesso da F., non fa diventare chiuso quello che altrimenti  è un public forum, p,. 15 ss

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

Il divieto di usare social media non è troppo vago in relaizone al Primo Emendamento

Circa la c.d. probation di un minore (sospensione condizionale della pena, suppergiù) , la condizione <<that he “not knowingly post, display or transmit on social media or through his cell phone any symbols or information that [he] knows to be, or that the Probation Officer informs [him] to be, gang-related.”>>  non è troppo vaga e quindi eccessiavamente limitativa del diritto di parola ex Primo Emendamento

Così L?appello della California 21 luglio 2022 H048553, H048979 (Santa Clara County Super. Ct. No. 19JV43778), in re J.T..

In particolare sul concetto di <social media>:

<< As minor acknowledges, the dictionary provides a definition of the term “social
media.” According to the Oxford English Dictionary, “social media” constitutes
“websites and applications which enable users to create and share content or to
participate in social networking.” (Oxford English Dict. Online (2022)
<https://www.oed.com/view/Entry/183739?redirectedFrom=social+media#eid272386371
> [as of July 21, 2022], archived at: <https://perma.cc/S6WV-Q3SK>.) Thus, a
practical, acceptable, and common-sense definition of the term exists, which is what a
probation condition needs to pass constitutional muster.

In determining the adequacy of the notice provided by a probation condition, we
are guided by the general principle that the condition’s language must only have
“ ‘ “
reasonable specificity,” ’ ” not “ ‘mathematical certainty.’ ” (Sheena K., supra,
40 Cal.4th at p. 890.) And, a probation condition is sufficiently specific “ ‘ “if any
reasonable and practical construction can be given its language or if its terms may be
made reasonably certain by reference to other definable sources.” ’ ” (
People v. Lopez
(1998) 66 Cal.App.4th 615, 630 (Lopez).)
Here, the term “social media” has a reasonably certain definition: websites where
users are able to share and generate content, and find and connect with other users of
common interests. Moreover, the condition’s purpose—to deter minor from engaging in
street gang activity—lends the needed clarity. A trial court’s reasons for imposing a
probation condition can cure a vagueness problem because “ ‘abstract legal commands
must be applied in a specific
context. A contextual application of otherwise unqualified
legal language may supply the clue to a law’s meaning, giving facially standardless
language a constitutionally sufficient concreteness.’ ” (
Lopez, supra, 66 Cal.App.4th at
p. 630.)
For example, in
In re Malik J. (2015) 240 Cal.App.4th 896 (Malik J.), the
appellate court considered whether a probation condition requiring the minor to
“ ‘provide all passwords to any electronic devices, including cell phones, computers or
[notepads], within [the probationer’s] custody or control’ ” was unconstitutionally vague
or overbroad. (
Id. at p. 900.) The minor argued that the phrase “ ‘any electronic
devices’ ” could be interpreted to include Kindles, PlayStations, iPods, the codes to his
car, home security system, or even his ATM card. (
Id. at p. 904.) The appellate court
observed that the search condition was imposed in response to the trial court’s concern
that the minor would use items such as his cell phone to coordinate with other offenders
and because he had previously robbed people of their iPhones. (
Id. at pp. 904-905.)
Therefore, the appellate court concluded that it was reasonably clear that the condition

was meant to encompass “similar electronic devices within [minor’s] custody and control
that might be stolen property, and not, as [minor] conjectures, to authorize a search of his
Kindle to see what books he is reading or require him to turn over his ATM password.”
(
Id. at p. 905.)
As in
Malik J., the condition’s purpose here—to deter minor from engaging in
street gang activity—provides guidance to minor and clarifies what types of “social
media” the condition intends to target. When deciding to impose gang conditions, the
juvenile court noted that the probation report disclosed that minor “wore red clothing
[and] seemed to hang out with Norte[ñ]o street gang guys,” and that there were “various
photos posted and included in the probation report as well as the Instagram issues and
tattoo issues.” The court’s statements render it “reasonably clear” that the condition was
intended to prohibit street gang-related activity on websites where users are able to share
and generate content. (
Malik J., supra, 240 Cal.App.4th at p. 905.)
Minor relies on
Packingham v. North Carolina (2017) 137 S.Ct. 1730
(
Packingham) for his vagueness claim, but that case is inapposite here. Unlike this case,
Packingham did not involve a probation condition; it involved a law that made it a felony
for registered sex offenders, including those who had completed their sentences, to
“access . . . a number of websites, including commonplace social media websites like
Facebook and Twitter.” (
Id. at p. 1733.) The Supreme Court held that the law violated
the First Amendment because it “ ‘burden[ed] substantially more speech than is necessary
to further the government’s legitimate interests’ ” in protecting children from sexual
abuse. (
Id. at p. 1736.) Packingham does not address the issue before us—whether the
term “social media,” as used in a probation condition that forbids gang-related postings,
displays, or transmissions, is unconstitutionally vague. “ ‘ ‘ “[C]ases are not authority for
propositions not considered.’ ” ’ ” (
People v. Baker (2021) 10 Cal.5th 1044, 1109.)
For all of these reasons, we do not find the term “social media” to be
unconstitutionally vague as used in the challenged probation condition
>>

Conflitto tra diritto di parola e diritto di autore : una particolare ma interessante fattispecie decisa a favore del primo

Tizio , restando anonimo con l’account @CallMeMoneyBags , critica su Twitter un tale Brian Sheth, a private-equity billionaire, postando messaggi e foto di lui.

Una società di couinicazione , però , quale sedicente titolare dei diritti sulle foto , chiede a Twitter di dargli il nome ex 17 §512.h US CODE.

Il giudice rigetta accogliendo la difesa di Twitter e facendoo prevalere il diritto di parola (di critica, di satira etc.) , anche perchè l’attore non è riuscito a fugare il sospetto di essere veicolo soceitario a disposizione del medesimo sig. Seth.

Così Il distretto nord della California21 giugno 2022, Case 4:20-mc-80214-VC , IN RE DMCA § 512(H) SUBPOENA TO TWITTER, INC.

This is where the mystery surrounding Bayside makes a difference. If the Court were assured that Bayside had no connection to Brian Sheth, a limited disclosure subject to a protective order could perhaps be appropriate. But the circumstances of this subpoena are suspicious. As far as the Court can tell, Bayside was not formed until the month that the tweets about Sheth were posted on Twitter. It appears that Bayside had never registered any copyrights until the registration of these six photographs, which happened after the tweets were posted. And there appears to be no information publicly available about Bayside’s principals, staff, physical location, formation, or purposes.

Given all the unknowns, at oral argument the Court offered Bayside an opportunity to
supplement the record with an evidentiary hearing or additional documentation. Bayside
declined, stating that it preferred the motion to be adjudicated on the current record. There would
perhaps be some benefit in insisting on an evidentiary hearing to explore the circumstances
behind this subpoena—to explore whether Bayside and its counsel are abusing the judicial
process in an effort to discover MoneyBags’s identity for reasons having nothing to do with
copyright law. Perhaps that hearing could even result in an award of attorney’s fees for Twitter.

Il rapporto tra dirito di autore e diritti fondamentali antagonisti è ormai largamentit tratto anche da noi anzi in tutto il copyright europeo.

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

Quando la pagina Facebook di pubblico funzionario è pubblica oppure solo privata?

Interessante questione decisa dal 6° circuito di appello , Lindke v. Freed 27.06.2022, No. 21-2977 .

Un pubblico funzionario aveva bannato dal suo account Faceboook un “amico” troppo critico verso di lui.

La successiva azione del’escluso , basata sul Primo Emendamento (State action doctrine) , viene però in appello respinta perchè il funzinario aveva aperto la pagine F. non nella veste, ma come prIvato.

Ciò anceh se aveva indicato il suo ruolo pubblico e se interloquiva con gli amici F. su temi istituzionali

La parte rilevante è sub C, che ci sonclude così:a< But our state-action anchors are missing here. Freed did not operate his page to fulfill any actual or apparent duty of his office. And he didn’t use his governmental authority to maintain it. Thus, he was acting in his personal capacity—and there was no state action>>

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

L’editorial judgment delle piattafrome social , in quanto esercizio del diritto di parola, è coperto dal Primo Emendamento

E’ stata data la notizia circa la sentenza di appello 23 maggio 2022 dell’11 circuito, USCA11 Case: 21-12355 , Netchoice LLc e altri c. ATTORNEY GENERAL, STATE OF FLORIDA (link fornito da varie fonti), circa la legittimità di una legge della Florida regolante e vincolante in vario modo le piattaforme social.

Soprattuto tre son i vincoli contestati:

i) restrizioni sulla content-moderation, ( p. 10);

ii) obblighi di disclosure (p. 12);

iii) obbligo di  fornire i dati all’utente in caso di deplatforming  (p. 13; disposzione invero molti interessante e probabilmente da accogliere, visti i recenti casi italiani di distruzioni immotivate del materiale postato negli anni dall’utente medesimo)

La corte di appello dell’11° circuito, adita dalle piattaforme la ritiene sostanzialmente incostituzionale, in quanto troppo inibente la freedom of speech tutelata dal Primo Emendamento.

Il presupposto , importante, è che le piattafforme sono soggetti privati titolari appunto dei diritti da First Amendement: <<The question at the core of this appeal is whether the Facebooks and Twitters of the world—indisputably “private actors” with First Amendment rights—are engaged in constitutionally protected expressive activity when they moderate and curate the content that they disseminate on their platforms. The State of Florida insists that they aren’t, and it has enacted a first-of-its-kind law to combat what some of its proponents perceive to be a concerted effort by “the ‘big tech’ oligarchs in Silicon Valley” to “silenc[e]” “conservative” speech in favor of a “radical leftist” agenda. To that end, the new law would, among other things, prohibit certain social-media companies from “deplatforming” political candidates under any circumstances, prioritizing or deprioritizing any post or message “by or about” a candidate, and, more broadly, removing anything posted by a “journalistic enterprise” based on its content. USCA11 Case: 21-12355 Date Filed: 05/23/2022 Page: 3 of 674 Opinion of the Court 21-12355

We hold that it is substantially likely that social-media companies—even the biggest ones—are “private actors” whose rights the First Amendment protects, Manhattan Cmty., 139 S. Ct. at 1926, that their so-called “content-moderation” decisions constitute protected exercises of editorial judgment, and that the provisions of the new Florida law that restrict large platforms’ ability to engage in content moderation unconstitutionally burden that prerogative. We further conclude that it is substantially likely that one of the law’s particularly onerous disclosure provisions—which would require covered platforms to provide a “thorough rationale” for each and every content-moderation decision they make—violates the First Amendment.

Accordingly, we hold that the companies are entitled to a preliminary injunction prohibiting enforcement of those provisions. Because we think it unlikely that the law’s remaining (and far less burdensome) disclosure provisions violate the First Amendment, we hold that the companies are not entitled to preliminary injunctive relief with respect to them>>

Sul conflitto tra editorial judgment/diritto di free speech in capo alle piattaforme social, da una parte, e diritto dello stato di chiedere conto dei criteri seguiti nella content moderation, dall’altro,  v. l’interessante saggio “Rereading Herbert v. Lando” di E. Douek-G. Lakier, 26 maggio 2022 , richiamante la cit. decisione della Suprema Corte del 1979.

Sulla legge della Florida v. Calvert, First Amendment Battles over Anti-Deplatforming Statutes: Examining Miami Herald Publishing Co. v. Tornillo’s Relevance for Today’s Online Social Media Platform Cases, NY Univ. law review-online, aprile 2022.

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)

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)

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)