Protocol: Thanks to FOSTA, a lawsuit against Twitter can proceed

Originally Published at Protocol

By Ben Brody

A lawsuit in California can proceed against Twitter by two young men who say the site was slow to remove explicit materials showing them when they were underage.

A federal judge dismissed several claims against Twitter on Thursday. Yet he ruled that a legal shield for internet platforms didn’t bar a suit under a law designed to penalize those who benefit from sex trafficking — in a rare decision on the impact of recent carveouts to the shield.

Twitter and other social media sites rely on that provision, known as Sec. 230, to exit from all kinds of lawsuits over user content. But in 2018, Congress enacted changes, known as FOSTA, that opened the door to suits under the trafficking law.

“No tech company should be allowed to profit from and outright ignore child sexual abuse material,” said Peter Gentala, senior legal counsel for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation and a lawyer for the plaintiffs.

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The Numbers


NCOSE leads the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation with over 300 member organizations.


The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has had over 100 policy victories since 2010. Each victory promotes human dignity above exploitation.


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