Daniel Neiditch Files Lawsuit Against Twitter, GoDaddy, Ning, and WordPress

Posted Aug 8, 2009

Last week, Horizon Realty decided to sue Amanda Bonnen over a potentially defamatory tweet that stated “?Who said sleeping in a moldy apartment was bad for you? Horizon realty thinks it?s okay.?

Now Daniel Neiditch, the President of the Board for Atelier Condos on W. 42nd in New York has filed a lawsuit against two condo owners and three former employees that made defamatory comments on Twitter and blog posts.

The comments made against Neiditch were quite grating.  Neiditch was accused of “murder, bribery, extortion, illicit payoffs, and corruption.”  Not only has Neiditch filed a lawsuit against the former condo owners and the employees, but he is also suing Twitter, GoDaddy, Ning, and WordPress.

Right off the bat, I knew that Twitter, GoDaddy, Ning, and WordPress were not responsible for what is posted on their website but I did not know which law protected them.  After reading TechDirt, then I learned which law it was.

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act states the following:

No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.

In analyzing the availability of the immunity offered by this provision, courts generally apply a three-prong test. A defendant must satisfy each of the three prongs to gain the benefit of the immunity:

  1. The defendant must be a “provider or user” of an “interactive computer service.”
  2. The cause of action asserted by the plaintiff must “treat” the defendant “as the publisher or speaker” of the harmful information at issue.
  3. The information must be “provided by another information content provider,” i.e., the defendant must not be the “information content provider” of the harmful information at issue.