Two internet trade organizations have challenged a Texas law regulating social media companies’ ability to remove users from their platforms. The law, House Bill 20, was signed by Governor Greg Abbott earlier this month.
On Tuesday, October 13, 2020, the United States Supreme Court denied a petition for a writ of certiorari in Malwarebytes, Inc. v. Enigma Software Group USA, LLC. The high court appeal stems from a case wherein Malwarebytes used software to block its users from accessing products from its competitor, Enigma. The district court rejected Enigma's claim based on immunity provided by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The Ninth Circuit panel reversed the district court's ruling, stating that "[i]mmunity under that section does not extend to anticompetitive conduct." Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas penned a concurring opinion to the denial of certiorari, suggesting that a review of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act may be warranted in an appropriate case.
In a 4-3 opinion, the California Supreme Court ruled yesterday that Yelp.com cannot be ordered to remove negative posts against a San Francisco law firm that another judge determined were defamatory. The decision overturns a lower court’s ruling against Yelp, and affirms rules that protect internet platforms from legal liability over users’ posts.