- Oct 1, 2020
The Stratton Oakmont vs Prodigy decision:I have never heard of a forum being forced to allow any sort of content. I'd like to see any examples you might have. In my opinion, forums were better moderated back in the 90s. Even the BBSs I frequented in the early days were well run and moderated. I rarely came across one that had been taken over by trolls or abusive members. That is something that seems to happen now on forums with more "hands off" moderation styles.
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (47 U.S.C. § 230) was Congress' response to two court cases decided in New York in the early 1990's that had conflicting results. Cubby and Stratton Oakmont The first case involved CompuServe, which in the early days of the Internet hosted "an...
Four years later, in 1995, another New York court took a different approach in Stratton Oakmont, Inc. v. Prodigy Servs. Co. Prodigy was a web services company with two million subscribers that hosted online bulletin boards, including the popular site MoneyTalk. Because Prodigy moderated its online message boards and deleted some messages for "offensiveness and 'bad taste,'" the court found that it had become akin to a publisher with responsibility for defamatory postings that made it onto the site. At the time, Prodigy received 60,000 postings a day—far too many to review in their entirety. But the decision in Stratton Oakmont meant that just for attempting to moderate some posts, Prodigy took on liability for all posts. To avoid liability, the company would have to give up moderating all together and simply act as a blind host, like CompuServe
This is why CDA Section 230(c)(2) - the so-called 'Good Samaritan' clause - of the CDA is just as important as Section 230(c)(1) (which provides general immunity against third-party content).