Keep up with the latest developments and legal issues in the telecommunications and emerging technology sectors, with exclusive access to a comprehensive collection of telecommunications law news,...
Facebook Inc. can’t be held liable for a claim alleging that it allows advertisers to unlawfully exclude groups of people from seeing their ads, the social network has argued in federal court ( Mobley v. Facebook Inc. , N.D. Cal., No. 5:16-cv-06440-EJD, motion to dismiss filed 4/3/17 ).
Facebook moved to dismiss a lawsuit filed by three users alleging that the company offers advertisers tools to target or exclude users based on race, national origin and location. The plaintiffs alleged that Facebook violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Fair Housing Act and California’s Unfair Competition Law, in a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
The case highlights the broad protections of the Communications Decency Act, 47 U.S.C. § 230, a statute that numerous plaintiffs have tried but failed to overcome in their attempts to seek relief for harms allegedly suffered as a result of content found on social networks. Section 230 of the law protects online publishers from liability for third-party content.
The company argued that Section 230 bars the claims because third-party businesses created the ads. The tools Facebook offers to target certain audiences are covered under the statute because they neither require nor encourage businesses to discriminate, the company said.
Facebook cited Fair Housing Council of San Fernando Valley v. Roommates.com LLC, 521 F.3d 1157 (9th Cir. 2008), in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that a roommate-matching site requiring users to answer questions about allegedly discriminatory housing preferences wasn’t protected under Section 230 for the unlawful user responses. Facebook said that unlike in Roommates, the site doesn’t require advertisers to direct their ads away from users on the basis of race, national origin, or any other protected classification. Advertisers aren’t required to use the tools at all, Facebook said.
Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP represented Facebook. Outten & Golden LLP represented the plaintiffs.
To contact the reporter on this story: Alexis Kramer in Washington at aKramer@bna.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Keith Perine at firstname.lastname@example.org
Full text at http://src.bna.com/nC5.
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)