Section 230

Defenses to Defamation

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A federal law offers certain protection from liability for comments posted by others on one’s site, blog, web forum, or reposts of information received through an RSS feed.

For example, a featured site, blog, or page in web forums that allow reader comments, host guest bloggers on the site, or if one reposts information received from an RSS feed, section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (“CDA 230”) offers protection from civil liability for questionable statements made by guests, users, and other third-party individuals. This key federal law can protect you from liability for statements contained in these materials. It also protects you from any other user-submitted content that you happen to publish on your site.

You will maintain your immunity even if you edit this content, whether for accuracy or otherwise, so long as your edits do not significantly alter the meaning of the original statements.

An important point here is that CDA 230 will only protect you from the conduct of third-parties (not if you or your agents or someone acting on your behalf posts something on your blog or website). CDA 230 does not insulate you from liability for your own statements.

You should talk to experienced counsel to fully understand the law in this area.

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