Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Facebook Is Immune From Suit For Removing Sikh Group's Page In India

In Sikhs For Justice ("SFJ"), Inc. v. Facebook, Inc., (ND CA, Nov. 13, 2015), a California federal district court dismissed a lawsuit by a Sikh human rights group that objected to Facebook's blocking of access in India to the group's Facebook page.  The suit alleges that Facebook discriminated in violation of the public accommodation provisions of the 1964 Civil Rights Act when it collaborated with the government of India in retaliating against SFJ for its online campaign complaining about the treatment of Sikhs and promoting an independent Sikh state. (See prior posting.) The court held that Sec. 230 of the Communications Decency Act immunizes Facebook from liability.  That section immunizes interactive computer services from liability as a publisher of content posted by third parties.  The court agreed with Facebook that the lawsuit "is entirely based on Defendant’s blocking of the SFJ Page in India, which is publisher conduct immunized by the CDA." Courthouse News Service reports on the decision.