Force v. Facebook
Seal of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.svg
CourtUS Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Docket nos.No. 18-397
Case history
Appealed toPetition for Certiorari before the US Supreme Court, denied
Related action(s)Petition for Certiorari denied to Dryoff v. Ultimate Software Group, Inc.
Court membership
Judge(s) sittingKatzmann, CJ., and Droney and Sullivan, JJ.
Case opinions
Decision byDroney, joined by Sullivan

Force v. Facebook, Inc., 934 F.3d 53 (2nd Cir. 2019) was a 2019 decision by the US Second Circuit Appeals Court holding that Section 230 bars civil terrorism claims against social media companies and internet service providers, the first federal appellate court to do so.[1]

The court ruled that the recommender system remains as part of the role of the distributor of the content and not the publisher, since these automated tools were essentially neutral.[2][3] The US Supreme Court declined in 2020 to hear an appeal of the case.

Judge Robert Katzman gave a 35-page dissenting opinion in the Force case, stating “Mounting evidence suggests that providers designed their algorithms to drive users toward content and people the users agreed with — and that they have done it too well, nudging susceptible souls ever further down dark paths."[4] Katzman's dissent was cited by Judge Clarence Thomas statement in respect of denying certiorari to Malwarebytes, Inc. v. Enigma Software Group USA, LLC.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation filed an amicus curaie brief in the case, arguing for platform immunity.[5]

The court that year also declined to hear Dyroff v. Ultimate Software Group Inc., a related case that cited Force.

Case History

Oral arguments

Subsequent Case Law and Commentary

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See also


  1. ^ Mackey, Sophia Cope and Aaron (2019-08-07). "Second Circuit Rules That Section 230 Bars Civil Terrorism Claims Against Facebook". Electronic Frontier Foundation. Retrieved 2022-10-04.
  2. ^ Neuburger, Jeffrey (August 9, 2019). "Facebook Shielded by CDA Immunity against Federal Claims for Allowing Use of Its Platform by Terrorists". National Law Review. Archived from the original on January 7, 2021. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  3. ^ Robertson, Adi (May 18, 2020). "Supreme Court rejects lawsuit against Facebook for hosting terrorists". The Verge. Archived from the original on January 30, 2021. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  4. ^ McCabe, David (2021-03-24). "How a Stabbing in Israel Echoes Through the Fight Over Online Speech". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-10-04.
  5. ^ "EFF amicus brief Force v Facebook 2d Circuit". Electronic Frontier Foundation. 2019-08-05. Retrieved 2022-10-04.