The Law and Business of Social Media
July 07, 2020 - Trademark, Cyberbullying, Marketing, Defamation, Section 230 Safe Harbor, Free Speech, Litigation

Debate over §230 of the CDA rages on; Twitter defeats defamation suit; held valid trademark

In a purported attempt to safeguard free speech, President Trump has issued an order “Preventing Online Censorship,” that would eliminate the protections afforded by one of our favorite topics here at Socially Aware, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which generally protects online platforms from liability for content posted by third parties. President Trump issued the order after Twitter tagged some of his tweets as misleading and linked the tweets to text contradicting their substance. Democratic presidential candidate Joseph Biden is also in favor of abolishing the law, but for very different reasons. Find out what they are.

There’s more than one way to strip a law of its teeth. In what Politico describes as “the latest GOP-led plan to target Section 230” of the Communications Decency Act, Senator Josh Hawley is proposing legislation that would make websites eligible for the Section 230 protections only if they stop the sale of ads that target users based on behavioral data.

And a Circuit Court in Virginia dismissed a suit that Representative Devin Nunes, a California Republican, brought against Twitter for defamation stemming from two parody accounts—@DevinNunesMom, and @DevinCow—that posted unflattering things about Rep. Nunes during President Trump’s impeachment hearings last year. The court held that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act insulated Twitter from liability.

After the first Supreme Court oral argument held over the phone, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in a majority opinion that is entitled to a trademark, and that “adding ‘.com’ to a generic word can make the entire combination eligible for trademark protection.”Twitter’s new “request verification” option will allow run-of-the-mill users to acquire the blue checkmark next to their names that the platform formerly reserved for public figures. Read about how else Twitter plans to improve its verification system.

Tik My Day, a marketing agency that Tik Tok launched in Australia, says it can provide all the services necessary for a branded Tik Tok campaign within 24 hours.

Users of the dating app OkCupid can now add a #BlackLivesMatter badge to their profiles. The social media firm also donated $1 million in advertising to Black American civil rights organizations, and added several social-justice-related questions to their matching process. How did the app’s users answer? Read the statistics.