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The man behind the Internet’s most notorious “revenge porn” site is convinced he can’t be prosecuted for letting users post naked pictures of people without their consent.But he might have some trouble defending himself.
Hunter Moore, the creator of the now defunct IsAnyoneUp.com, is back with HunterMoore.TV, which lets users submit naked pictures of exes or enemies without that person’s consent.
He’s assured critics his morally questionable site is completely legally defensible thanks to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which provides protections to website operators that post user-submitted content.
But the controversial case of Roommates.com and the Fair Housing Council of San Fernando Valley might torpedo that protection.
Roommates.com, a site that let people find roommates by answering questions about what they wanted in housemate, was sued in 2003 by the Fair Housing Council of San Fernando Valley, which claimed the site’s questionnaire was discriminatory, The Guardian reported Thursday.
The website’s creators claimed they were protected because the site’s content was submitted by users. But a district court in the Ninth Circuit ruled Section 230 didn’t actually apply because the site allowed users to discriminate.
The Ninth Circuit court of appeals affirmed the site couldn’t have immunity under the Communcations Decency Act because it was “inducing third parties to express illegal preferences.”
“It’s not clear necessarily that Hunter Moore’s [website] would fall within this roommates.com exception, but it could,” Boston College law professor Mary-Rose Papandrea told The Guardian, citing the fact that courts have been known to find loopholes to Section 230.