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Twitter Moves To Dismiss Child Porn Lawsuit Citing Section 230 Immunity

   DailyWire.com
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Photo Illustration by Avishek Das/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Twitter filed a motion Wednesday to dismiss a bombshell lawsuit filed in January concerning the sexual exploitation of a minor on their platform by citing protections from Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act — a controversial clause that has protected Big Tech from viewpoint discrimination and, in this case, they claim, child pornography being hosting on their platforms.

The suit in question alleges that a young boy who was solicited and recruited for sex trafficking had to endure material depicting his own sexual abuse being promoted on Twitter, even after attempts were made to remove the content.

“Congress recognized the inherent challenges of large-scale, global content moderation for platforms, including the potential for liability based on a platform’s alleged ‘knowledge’ of offensive content if it chose to try to screen out that material but was unable to root out all of it,” reads Twitter’s motion to dismiss, according to The Blaze. “Hoping to encourage platforms to engage in moderation of offensive content without risking incurring potentially ruinous legal costs, in 1996 Congress enacted Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (‘CDA § 230′), granting platforms like Twitter broad immunity from legal claims arising out of failure to remove content.”

“Given that Twitter’s alleged liability here rests on its failure to remove content from its platform, dismissal of the Complaint with prejudice is warranted on this ground alone,” the motion continues, adding, “… mistakes or delays do not make Twitter a knowing participant in a sex trafficking venture as Plaintiff here has alleged. Plaintiff does not (and cannot) allege, as he must, that Twitter ever had any actual connection to these Perpetrators or took any part in their crimes. Thus, even accepting all of Plaintiff’s allegations as true, there is no legal basis for holding Twitter liable for the Perpetrators’ despicable acts.”

Section 230 of the U.S. Code states:

No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected.

Eliza Bleu, a sex trafficking survivor and advocate for the young boy known only as John Doe said the child was 13 years old when he was sex trafficked. “His abuse was watched 167,000 views and 2,223 retweets on Twitter. Twitter told Doe that it didn’t violate their terms of service,” she said.

As reported by The Daily Wire, the lawsuit asserts, “This lawsuit seeks to shine a light on how Twitter has enabled and profited from CSAM (child sexual abuse material) on its platform, choosing profits over people, money over the safety of children, and wealth at the expense of human freedom and human dignity.”

“Twitter is not a passive, inactive, intermediary in the distribution of this harmful material; rather, Twitter has adopted an active role in the dissemination and knowing promotion and distribution of this harmful material. Twitter’s own policies, practices, business model, and technology architecture encourage and profit from the distribution of sexual exploitation material,” the suit continues.

Twitter is being sued for damages “under the federal Trafficking Victims’ Protection Reauthorization Act, Failure to Report Child Sexual Abuse Material, Receipt and Distribution of Child Pornography, and related state law.”

The claimant alleges that Twitter “knowingly hosted sexual exploitation material, including child sex abuse material (referred to in some instances as child pornography), and allowed human trafficking and the dissemination of child sexual abuse material to continue on its platform, therefore profiting from the harmful and exploitive material and the traffic it draws.”

Related: Understanding Section 230: Everything You Need To Know

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