Wikimedia not liable for online defamation

In the case of Bauer v. Wikimedia et al, a New Jersey judge has dismissed defamation claims against the operator of Wikipedia (ruling).

From the EFF blog:

This case began when literary agent Barbara Bauer sued Wikimedia, claiming the organization was liable for statements identifying her as one of the “dumbest of the twenty worst” agents and that she had “no documented sales at all.” EFF and the law firm of Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton represented Wikimedia, and moved to dismiss the case in May, arguing that under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, operators of “interactive computer services” such as Wikipedia cannot be held liable for users’ comments.

User generated sites are going to get (and have gotten) involved in defamation-like cases and it is necessary that the parent company should have some form of immunity even if such immunity can be abused. It’s nice to see that it worked in this case.

Another question is whether or not calling someone the “dumbest” can be considered to be defamatory at all…

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