The defendant, who ran an online discussion group around women's health, posted some third-party content that attacked the plaintiffs, two doctors critical of alternative medicines. The court held that CDA 230 applies to individuals, and thus the defendant was protected since she didn't create the content. Moreover, the court rejected plaintiffs' arguments that there was a relevant distinction between publishers and distributors or between passive and active users because those distinctions had no basis in the statute.
Barrett v. Rosenthal, 146 P.3d 510 (Cal. S.C. 2006)
Type of online publisher:
Defendant as an individual
Publisher's Role in Third Party Content:
Reposted a defamatory article written by a third party
CDA § 230 applicable?:
Yes. Since the defendant was a “user of an interactive computer service” and did not produce the content herself, she was protected by CDA 230.
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