Free Speech Coalition Joins ACLU, CDT in Filing Amicus Briefs in Section 230 Cases

Free Speech Coalition, the trade and advocacy association for the adult industry, has joined civil rights and sex worker rights groups in filing “friend-of-the-court” briefs defending three platforms against FOSTA-enabled civil litigation. In each case, civil litigants are seeking damages from platforms — Twitter, Craigslist and Omegle — who they allege profited from sex trafficking.

“Since the passage of FOSTA in 2018, we’ve seen numerous litigants sue platforms for the actions of independent users on those platforms,” says Alison Boden, Executive Director of Free Speech Coalition. “We are concerned that the courts are not giving proper weight to the protections of First Amendment and Section 230, nor the limitations of the FOSTA exemption. We thank the ACLU for inviting us to join these briefs and are proud to stand alongside them in defense of our constitutional rights.”

Free Speech Coalition has joined the American Civil Liberties Union, Center for Democracy and Technology, Sex Workers Project, SWOP Los Angeles, Reframe Health and Justice, and other civil rights groups in filing the briefs in support of the defendants in three cases: J.B. v Craigslist, Doe v Twitter, and M.H. v Omegle.

Amicus briefs are a critical method for advocacy organizations like FSC and other interested parties to contribute to the legal analysis in pending litigation, providing insight, experience and knowledge that may not be otherwise apparent to the court. In addition to joining with other organizations on amicus briefs, FSC has filed its own amici in cases related more directly to the adult industry, in addition to successfully defending the rights of the industry at the US Supreme Court in Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition.

“FSC has specialized knowledge of the history of sexual speech and its direct implications for free expression that other 1st Amendment advocates may not,” says Boden. “We have also taken on fights that others would not, and successfully defended the rights of our industry. This is a history that these amicus briefs build on, and we look forward to growing our legal advocacy work and alliances in the coming year.”

Read the briefs