Carrie Goldberg and her law firm represent Matthew Herrick in Matthew Herrick v. Grinder LLC, a case that may shake things up with Section 230 of the CDA’s protections for platforms. Tor Ekeland Law, PLLC are co-counsel in the case.
Our client, Matthew Herrick, was stalked and harassed by his ex-boyfriend through the Grindr app. The ex-boyfriend had created impersonating profiles to arrange sex dates with over a thousand men who came to Matthew’s home and workplace. Matthew reported it to Grindr over 100 times. He also got an Order of Protection and made criminal complaints against his ex, but the strangers kept coming. The impersonating profiles told them that Matthew had drugs to share and wanted to role-play rape fantasies. When our firm served Grindr’s team with a court order demanding they exclude Matthew’s ex from using their product, they said they didn’t have the technology to do so. They own the patent to geo-locating technology! And yet, they can’t screen users?!
We said, “If you can’t control your product, it’s dangerous.” So we, along with co-counsel Tor Ekeland Law, PLLC, sued Grindr using theories of products liability. This case challenges Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA), which tech companies claim exempts them from being liable for harm that happens on their platforms. The CDA, passed in 1995, was initially created to protect online bulletin boards from defamation cases. Over the last twenty-two years, the law has become broader and broader because of the way courts have interpreted it, granting protections to a broader array of internet service providers for a broader array of harmful activities.
Read more on her blog, where you can also download the relevant filings.