In a lawsuit that could change everything or possibly nothing at all, Jason Fyk, owner of a viral news page that was shut down by Facebook argues that Big Tech companies, Facebook in particular should be held liable for their censorship. His case has hit the docket. What that means is the Justices will read preliminary arguments.
Then the Justices will vote to see if the case should come before the court. It takes just four justices to vote to add the case to their regular docket. If five or more agree to hear the case, it will likely succeed during the actual trial. What is at issue is whether Facebook is just a platform or in reality a publisher in that they censor most of all information from conservatives.
If they win in the Supreme Court, they will likely move on to civil court. The danger to Facebook is that it could turn into a class action suit and the amount of money could be staggering, even for them. It could then happen that Google, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter could get drawn in. It’s like dominos, where one is knocked over causing a chain reaction.
The case focuses on subsection F(3) of the law, which concerns the definition of “information content provider.” The law defines an “information content provider” as “any person or entity that is responsible, in whole or in part, for the creation or development of information provided through the Internet or any other interactive computer service.”
In contrast to “interactive computer services,” “information content providers” are not protected by the liability shields of Section 230. Thus, Big Tech companies must prove that they are “interactive computer services” and not “information content providers” if they wish to be subject to the law’s protections, and thus retain their broad authority to censor users.
By engaging in preferential treatment towards certain types of content, including by funding content produced mainstream media organizations, Fyk’s case will argue that Facebook is “responsible, in whole or in part, for the creation or development of information provided through the Internet,” and thus an “information content provider” not subject to Section 230’s protections.
The court could refuse to take the case. They could hear the case and turn Fyk down. But if they should rule in his favor things could get real interesting, real fast.