Get Nominated to Court of Appeals, Stop Tweeting
The article below explains why Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett has gone silent on Twitter. For those unfamiliar with the justice, he had quite the reputation as a prolific user of Twitter. While the explanation for giving up Twitter is fairly evident, the judge was recently nominated to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, it remains to be seen whether this retreat from sending tweets is permanent or temporary at least until he is confirmed by the Senate.
How Facebook Moderates Content
Although this video is over two months old, it is still very instructive for anyone interested in learning how Facebook moderates content. In the video, Professor Jonathan Zittrain of Harvard Law School interviews Monika Bickert, Facebook’s Head of Global Policy Management.
Terrorist organizations have found social media websites to be invaluable for disseminating ideology, recruiting terrorists, and planning operations. National and international leaders have repeatedly pointed out the dangers terrorists pose to ordinary people and state institutions. In the United States, the federal Communications Decency Act’s Section 230 provides social networking websites with immunity against civil law suits. Litigants have therefore been unsuccessful in obtaining redress against internet companies who host or disseminate third-party terrorist content. This Article demonstrates that Section 230 does not bar private parties from recovery if they can prove that a social media company had received about specific webpages, videos, posts, articles, IP addresses, or accounts of foreign terrorist organizations; the company’s failure to remove the material; a terrorist’s subsequent viewing of or interacting with the material on the website; and that terrorist’s acting upon the propaganda to harm the plaintiff.
This Article argues that irrespective of civil immunity, the First Amendment does not limit Congress’s authority to impose criminal liability on those content intermediaries who have been notified that their websites are hosting third-party foreign terrorist incitement, recruitment, or instruction. Neither the First Amendment nor the Communications Decency Act prevents this form of federal criminal prosecution. A social media company can be prosecuted for material support of terrorism if it is knowingly providing a platform to organizations or individuals who advocate the commission of terrorist acts. Mechanisms will also need to be created that can enable administrators to take emergency measures, while simultaneously preserving the due process rights of internet intermediaries to challenge orders to immediately block, temporarily remove, or permanently destroy data.
Judges and Social Media
I, along with Cynthia Gray from the National Center for State Courts, will be speaking about the impact of social media on judges this Thursday at the Michigan Judicial Institute. Here is a brief description of my presentation. To view the entire program go here.
2:45 – 4:00 p.m. (General session for all participants)
Best Practices and Safety Tips: Everything I Wished I Knew Regarding Social Media Before Clicking
Faculty: Ms. Cynthia Gray, Center for Judicial Ethics, National Center for State Courts; Professor Thaddeus Hoffmeister, University of Dayton School of Law
A session to present do’s, don’ts, and maybe’s regarding a judicial officer’s use of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogs and how to manage social media use in the courtroom by jurors, lawyers, defendants and victims.
Holding Social Media Providers Liable for the Acts of Third Parties
As I explain in the article below, it is very difficult to hold social media providers liable for the acts of third parties even if those third parties are terrorists.