A brief update on Zuckerman vs. Meta

...My heart's in Accra 2024-05-09

I’m getting good practice this week talking about something complicated: the lawsuit the Knight First Amendment Institute and I filed against Meta a week ago today. On Sunday, the New York Times published a guest essay I wrote about the suit, and I dedicated my regular monthly column at Prospect to explaining loyal clients, the idea that we deserve internet tools that represent our interests as users, even when they conflict with what a powerful platform wants. (Cory Doctorow wrote a great piece yesterday on loyal clients that intersects with the Meta case and other ideas he and I have been following, including adversarial interoperability.)

In the past few days I’ve had conversations with very smart reporters who’ve worked to put the suit in context. Will Oremus, writing for the Washington Post, uses the case to talk about the broader idea of middleware, citing my single favorite middleware example, Tracy Chou’s Block Party (now suspended, due to Elon Musk being, well, Elon Musk.) Ashley Belanger, writing for Ars Technica, talks to a variety of knowledgeable lawyers about the novel arguments we’re making about section 230. It’s fascinating for me to see how these arguments are landing with knowledgeable audiences.

Meta should be responding to our complaint in the next couple off weeks, and I promise an update then. In the meantime, if you’ve not read Louis Barclay’s very sweet seven thoughts on our suit, please check it out – I am now pronouncing Louis’s name correctly as a result!

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