> From: DAY <[log in to unmask]>
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Editorial Control and the WWW as Public Forum
> Date: Wednesday, July 30, 1997 3:41 PM
> On Wed, 30 Jul 1997, Emily Christensen wrote:
> > That is, I wonder if taking action to block a user from the
> > board for a) clearly breaking a law (i.e. invasion of privacy or
> > defamation) or b) breaking a more specific "user agreement" (i.e.
> > excessive profanity) would legally constitute "editorial control" over
> > the bulliten board. The defamation/invasion of privacy/profanity would
> > not be erased or edited, but the user would not have the opportunity to
> > contribute comments at out bulliten board again.
> The decision in the Zeran case makes "editorial control" a mute point.
> CDA presumably protects the ISP or forum provider as long as those
> individuals were not involved in the CREATION of the offending material.
> Relying on one case (Zeran) for protection is tenuous, but for now its
> we've got for the Internet. I am not aware of any related cases in
> traditional media, though I'm sure there are some out there.
> 2) Is there any legal precedent for claiming privately owned bulliten
> > boards or chat halls as a public forum? The Supreme Court has stated
> > that private property *may be considered* a public forum (this was over
> > the shopping center case, the name of which I would have to look up).
> I too had heard reference to a case in which a shopping mall was
> considered a public forum. I've never been able to track down such a
> If anyone has a citation, please share it. My First Amendment references
> say private forums don't have to extend First Amendment principles to
> Also, public forums are created over years or decades of use for the
> purpose of public exchange of ideas. The Supreme Court has never
> automatically extended the public forum designation to new mediums.
> The Internet is a new medium. We are pioneers in this new medium. It will
> take many years of case law before a clear picture of "dos and don'ts" is
> established. Until then, we must traverse a minefield and try not to blow
> ourselves up.
> David NL Day
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