COMM 458 Blumenthal v. Drudge (1998) Background : Gossip columnist Matt Drudge published a defamatory statement in the Drudge Report claiming that White House aide Sidney Blumenthal had a history of violence against his wife. Drudge distributed each edition of his Drudge Report via email, his own website (drudgereport.com) and through an agreement he had with America Online. In this agreement, America Online published Drudge’s material and made it available to all members of AOL’s service for one year. In exchange, Drudge received a monthly payment of $3,000. Based on the agreement, AOL had the power to “remove content that AOL reasonable determines to violate AOL’s then standard terms of service.” The Blumenthals sued both Matt Drudge and AOL for defamation. AOL moved for summary judgment claiming that it was immune from liability for Drudge’s statement based on the section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Issue
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