Scott M. Sawyer

Latest Articles

2016 has been a challenging year for Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) and the website operators who depend on it for protection against liability stemming from user-generated content. An unusually large number of cases this year have resulted in decisions holding that the defendant website operators were not entitled to immunity under Section 230. For example, as we’ve discussed recently, in Hassel v. Bird, the California Court of Appeal held that…
Social networking platforms have long faced the difficult task of balancing the desire to promote freedom of expression with the need to prevent abuse and harassment on their sites. One of social media’s greatest challenges is to make platforms safe enough so users are not constantly bombarded with offensive content and threats (a recent Pew Research Center study reported that 40% of Internet users have experienced harassment), yet open enough to foster discussion of complex,…
Social networking platforms have long faced the difficult task of balancing the desire to promote freedom of expression with the need to prevent abuse and harassment on their sites. One of social media’s greatest challenges is to make platforms safe enough so users are not constantly bombarded with offensive content and threats (a recent Pew Research Center study reported that 40% of Internet users have experienced harassment), yet open enough to foster discussion of complex,…
The explosive growth of social media has clients facing legal questions that didn’t even exist a few short years ago. Helping your clients navigate this muddled legal landscape will have them clicking “like” in no time. What’s in a Like? Not long ago, the word “like” was primarily a verb (and an interjection used by “valley girls”). You could have likes and dislikes in the sense of preferences, but you couldn’t give someone a like,…
Are parents now liable for what their kids post to Facebook?  According to a recent decision in the Georgia Court of Appeals, they are. The Georgia Court of Appeals held that the parents of a seventh-grade student could be found negligent for failing to ensure that their son deleted an offensive Facebook profile that defamed a fellow classmate.  The fake Facebook account depicted a fat-face caricature of the female student and featured sexual, profane…