The case of former Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader Sarah Jones, who sued thedirty.com for defamation and was awarded $338,000 by a jury, has sparked some backlash from internet giants like Twitter and Amazon.
The major online companies are blasting the federal judge's decision to allowing the suit to proceed, saying the case has the potential to undermine a 1996 federal law, The Federal Communications Decency Act that provides broad immunity to websites. The Internet companies recently filed briefs in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati that are part of the lawsuit against the Arizona-based website thedirty.com.
Jones had originally sued the gossip website for $11 million. In July the jury awarded Jones $338,000 after learning that posts on the site about Jones that alleged she had sex with every Bengals player, and had two sexually transmitted diseases, were substantially false.They found Nik Richie the websites operator acted with malice or reckless disregard in posting the statements he said were anonymous.
Jones the former Dixie Heights High School teacher was previously convicted of having sex with a former 17-year-old high school student.