Today’s helpful tip involves user-generated content. Most popular sites today such as Facebook and Reddit are driven by user generated content.
Generally under the Communications Decency Act (CDA), as a website owner you aren’t responsible for the posting and publishing of information or content by other people on their website aka user-generated content.
However, under current Federal case law you could become liable for the posting of others by helping to develop their content on your website. In order to determine whether you have developed content of others on your website, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- Is my website actively manipulating the type of content being submitted by others?
- Have I or my company created any content on our website using content submitted by other people?
- Have I affirmatively assisted other people in developing their content on my website?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions you might have removed yourself from the protection of the CDA safe harbor provisions and may be vulnerable to liability. As always if you have any specific questions regarding any possible liability, you should contact a knowledgeable lawyer.