Omegle argues that Section 230 immunity under the Communications Decency Act is warranted because, at its core, the Complaint alleges that Omegle failed to adequately monitor or police the content or interactions of its users, including by allegedly failing to enforce its user policies and implement safety measures that would have prevented Plaintiff’s communication with Fordyce.
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The Court found, however, that “it does not matter that there were ultimately chats, videos, or pictures sent from A.M. to Fordyce. As I stated at oral argument, it is clear that content was created; however, claims one through four do not implicate the publication of content. What matters for purposes of those claims is that the warnings or design of the product at issue led to the interaction between an eleven-year-old girl and a sexual predator in his late thirties…. In order to meet the obligation A.M. seeks to impose on Omegle, Omegle would not have to alter the content posted by its users – it would only have to change its design and warnings….
“Omegle has attempted to make this a case about Fordyce’s communications to the Plaintiff, but as discussed above, Plaintiff’s case does not rest on third party content. Plaintiff’s contention is that the product is designed a way that connects individuals who should not be connected (minor children and adult men) and that it does so before any content is exchanged between them.” Then, quoting the Plaintiff’s Opposition: “The random pairing function of adults and children and the service’s accessibility to both adults and children work in tandem. Plaintiff’s claims thus have nothing to do with information provided by a user. It is the website’s sole function of randomly matching children with adults that causes the danger. This function occurs before content occurs.” Because this is a products liability case that does not rest on Defendant’s publication of third-party content, the Court finds that Section 230 immunity does not apply
A.M. v. Omegle.com, No.21-1674, 2022 WL 2713721, 2022 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 123695 (D.Ore. July 13, 2022).
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