Friday, September 15, 2017

9th Circuit: Facebook Is Immune From Liability For Blocking Access To Sikh Group's Page

In Sikhs for Justice, Inc. v. Facebook, Inc., (9th Cir., Sept. 13, 2017), the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a California federal district court's dismissal of a religious discrimination claim against Facebook. (See prior posting.) In the lawsuit, brought by a Sikh human rights group, plaintiffs contend that Facebook violated the public accommodation provisions of the 1964 Civil Rights Act when it blocked access to SJF's Facebook page in India.  The suit contends that Facebook 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.  The 9th Circuit held that Facebook is immune from civil liability under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, and that Title II of the 1964 Civil Rights Act does not provide an exception to this immunity.