Monday, March 09, 2009

Craigslist and "Chicago!": Can it depend on Section 230?

Now, now, a popular site, very much the Web 2.0 world that we take for granted, Craigslist, gets sued by the Cook County IL sheriff, demanding a federal injunction to close down its “oldest profession” ads. The company’s own Wordpress blog post today (“now Comes Thomas Dart”) is here.

Goeffrey A. Fowler has a March 6 story in The Wall Street Journal blog, “Craiglist’s ‘Erotic Services’ Issue Bubbles Up Again,” here.

The key point, it seems to me, seems to be Section 230 again. Craigslist is not liable for what its user’s post as long as it doesn’t create or edit the content.

Even so, in my own operations, I take Section 230 with a grain of caution. I don’t approve comments that are simply obviously libelous or infringement on someone’s rights (although almost all of what I reject is just spam).

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