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Washington Journal of Law, Technology & Arts

Abstract

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) offers broad protection for providers and users of interactive computer services against liability for defamation and other content-based claims when a third-party provides the information. Although providers and users of interactive computer services (ICSs) are permitted to exercise some editorial control while still avoiding legal liability, at some point, such editing may transform the provider or user of the ICS into an information content provider and deprive them of § 230 immunity. The key issue is where the threshold between permissible and impermissible editorial control lies. This Article delves into this issue by analyzing two recent decisions by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, Whitney Information Network v. Xcentric Ventures and Almeida v. Amazon.com, Inc., which indicate that even relatively minor editing of content could deprive the provider or user of the ICS of § 230 immunity.

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