Armslist Not Liable for for Private-Seller Gun Ads

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Armslist Not Liable for for Private-Seller Gun Ads

Postby jdege on Fri May 17, 2019 6:21 am

https://reason.com/2019/05/01/armslist-not-liable-for-allowing-searches-for-private-seller-gun-ads/
Armslist Not Liable for Allowing Searches for Private-Seller Gun Ad
So the Wisconsin Supreme Court held yesterday, reversing a Wisconsin Court of Appeals decision
Can a web site be liable for things its users post? No, the federal 47 U.S.C. § 230 statute generally provides, whether the posts are libelous, emotionally distressing, crime-promoting, or whatever else (with some exceptions, such as for federal intellectual property laws). But the sites are responsible for their own speech, and their own decisions that themselves create actionable speech.

To give an example from one leading case, the Ninth Circuit Roommates.com decision:
  • A web site that features ads for roommates isn't liable when users themselves post ads that contain discriminatory roommate preferences (even if the law can bar such discrimination in roommate selection, which is a separate question). That's just the users' own choice, for which they and only they can be held liable.
  • But the site can be liable if it expressly requires subscribers to state such preferences, since then it is itself "develop[ing]" the legally punishable material.
Now say that a web site lets users post ads for gun transactions. Under § 230, it can't be liable simply because some ad that users posted leads to an illegal transaction. But can it be liable on the theory that some of its design features, such as the ability to search for ads by private sellers, especially facilitate crimes? (Under federal law, private sellers, unlike professional gun dealers, don't have to do a background check on their buyers; ads from such sellers might thus be especially useful to felons and others who would fail such a check.)

In Daniel v. Armlist, plaintiffs, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, and one Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court (Ann Walsh Bradley), said the site could indeed be liable for this. But the majority disagreed, and said there was no liability.


This was a couple of weeks ago, but I missed it.

It's an important case, and an important issue.
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Re: Armslist Not Liable for for Private-Seller Gun Ads

Postby Grayskies on Fri May 17, 2019 8:39 am

This seems a pretty obvious decision, It would be like holding the local diner liable for the fliers they let be posted in the entrance.

I wonder why the one justice disagreed?
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Re: Armslist Not Liable for for Private-Seller Gun Ads

Postby Ghost on Fri May 17, 2019 11:05 am

Grayskies wrote:This seems a pretty obvious decision, It would be like holding the local diner liable for the fliers they let be posted in the entrance.

I wonder why the one justice disagreed?

The wrong one
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Re: Armslist Not Liable for for Private-Seller Gun Ads

Postby Grayskies on Fri May 17, 2019 11:11 am

Ghost wrote:
Grayskies wrote:This seems a pretty obvious decision, It would be like holding the local diner liable for the fliers they let be posted in the entrance.

I wonder why the one justice disagreed?

The wrong one

???
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Re: Armslist Not Liable for for Private-Seller Gun Ads

Postby Ghost on Fri May 17, 2019 11:44 am

Grayskies wrote:
Ghost wrote:
Grayskies wrote:This seems a pretty obvious decision, It would be like holding the local diner liable for the fliers they let be posted in the entrance.

I wonder why the one justice disagreed?

The wrong one

???

I read that as which justice disagreed, oops
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Re: Armslist Not Liable for for Private-Seller Gun Ads

Postby LarryFlew on Fri May 17, 2019 12:18 pm

From her information:

"Party: Democratic Party"
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Re: Armslist Not Liable for for Private-Seller Gun Ads

Postby Holland&Holland on Fri May 17, 2019 9:51 pm

Grayskies wrote:This seems a pretty obvious decision, It would be like holding the local diner liable for the fliers they let be posted in the entrance.

I wonder why the one justice disagreed?

Because guns
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Re: Armslist Not Liable for for Private-Seller Gun Ads

Postby Ghost on Sat May 18, 2019 5:13 am

Holland&Holland wrote:
Grayskies wrote:This seems a pretty obvious decision, It would be like holding the local diner liable for the fliers they let be posted in the entrance.

I wonder why the one justice disagreed?

Because guns

I think it’s deeper than that, it’s about control
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