In some research I did last year, I investigated the question, when is a website liable for content it hosts that it’s users create? I found that while Section 230 of the CDA allows for general protection for websites, occasionally a website can be held liable. If a website forces a user to supply them with information that could be unlawful, they can be held liable. Additionally, if the website alters, or adds to illegal content, it can be liable. Stubhub, for instance, has lost Section 230 immunity a few times, when they hosted tickets that did not allow for resale. By just creating an event page for the event that forbid resales, the courts have considered this as a contribution to the content.

Something to consider for website hosting. Don’t ask people directly for illegal information. If you do, you could be held liable for that illegal information. If you’d like to read the whole paper, download it here. For those of you who are more visually inclined, check the presentation I gave 6 months ago at AEJMC below.

Download the full paper here

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