Appeals Court Says Families Of Car Crash Victims Can Continue To Sue Snapchat Over Its 'Speed Filter'

from the no-immunity-but-perhaps-no-legal-responsibility-either dept

A few years ago, the Georgia Court of Appeals kept a lawsuit alive against Snapchat, brought by the parents of a victim of a car crash -- one supposedly encouraged by Snapchat's "speed filter." No Section 230 immunity was extended to Snapchat, which only made the filter available, but did not actually participate (other than as another passenger) in the reckless driving that resulted in the accident that left another driver permanently brain damaged.

Removing this case to federal court most likely would not have helped. Another lawsuit against Snapchat over its "speed filter" has been allowed to move forward by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. (via Ars Technica)

This case involves another tragic car accident and the use of Snap's app and "speed filter." From the decision [PDF]:

According to the Parents’ amended complaint, Jason Davis (age 17), Hunter Morby (age 17), and Landen Brown (age 20) were driving down Cranberry Road in Walworth County, Wisconsin at around 7:00 p.m. on May 28, 2017. Jason sat behind the wheel, Landen occupied the front passenger seat, and Hunter rode in the back seat. At some point during their drive, the boys’ car began to speed as fast as 123 MPH. They sped along at these high speeds for several minutes, before they eventually ran off the road at approximately 113 MPH and crashed into a tree. Tragically, their car burst into flames, and all three boys died.

One of the people in the car opened Snapchat and enabled the "speed filter" minutes before the fatal accident. According to the allegations, a number of Snapchat users believed (incorrectly) Snapchat would reward them (the ruling doesn't specify with what) for exceeding 100 mph. That's where the allegations tie Snapchat to reckless driving by end users. It isn't much, but it's apparently enough to allow the lawsuit to move forward.

And it's these specific allegations that allow the lawsuit to avoid the expected Section 230 immunity defense. The plaintiffs don't claim Snapchat isn't a publisher of third-party content. They don't even argue this lawsuit centers on the "speed filter" post made shortly before the accident. Instead, they argue the app itself -- with its attendant (but now removed) "speed filter" -- is negligently-designed, leading directly to the tragedies at the center of this suit.

It is thus apparent that the Parents’ amended complaint does not seek to hold Snap liable for its conduct as a publisher or speaker. Their negligent design lawsuit treats Snap as a products manufacturer, accusing it of negligently designing a product (Snapchat) with a defect (the interplay between Snapchat’s reward system and the Speed Filter). Thus, the duty that Snap allegedly violated “springs from” its distinct capacity as a product designer. Barnes, 570 F.3d at 1107. This is further evidenced by the fact that Snap could have satisfied its “alleged obligation”—to take reasonable measures to design a product more useful than it was foreseeably dangerous—without altering the content that Snapchat’s users generate.

Because of that, the only discussion of Section 230 is to explain why it's not an appropriate defense in this case.

That Snap allows its users to transmit user-generated content to one another does not detract from the fact that the Parents seek to hold Snap liable for its role in violating its distinct duty to design a reasonably safe product.

The Ninth Circuit says the filter is first-party content and it's Snapchat's software that's the problem.

Snap indisputably designed Snapchat’s reward system and Speed Filter and made those aspects of Snapchat available to users through the internet.

The lawsuit heads back down to the district level, where the lower court originally dismissed this case on Section 230 grounds. The plaintiffs will get another chance to amend their lawsuit to fully flesh out arguments -- namely, Snapchat's allegedly-negligent design -- that weren't fully addressed the first time around.

There's a chance another round of litigation may result in a win for Snapchat. The plaintiffs still need to fully connect Snapchat to the reckless driving committed by the victims of the car crash. It may not be enough to simply say the presence of a "speed filter" is responsible for this tragic outcome. After all, Snapchat has millions of users and presumably a majority of those managed to refrain from driving recklessly even with the supposed incentive of being rewarded before Snap removed the "speed filter" option.

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Filed Under: product liability, section 230, speedfilter
Companies: snapchat


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  • icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 11 May 2021 @ 4:44pm

    No Blanket Immunity.

    If this decision is upheld, this is proof positive that §230 is not "blanket immunity" for tech companies. The very fact that §230 wasn't able to protect Snapchat based on the actions of one of its users shows that all of the hysterical §230-is-a-gift-to-big-tech folderol is just that: bullshit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 May 2021 @ 4:48pm

    I'm confused by the fact they keep saying there was rewards for going fast with this filter. If that doesn't exist, how can there be any case to argue? I don't use Snapchat so maybe someone else knows how filters and rewarda work better than I.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Bluegrass Geek (profile), 12 May 2021 @ 6:05am

      Re:

      I'm confused by the fact they keep saying there was rewards for going fast with this filter. If that doesn't exist, how can there be any case to argue?

      Whether or not the reward actually exists, the perception created by the app is that the Speed Filter was connected to a rewards system in the app.

      That's what this case hinges on. Even if the rewards don't exist, the design of the app may have implied there were. If so, that makes the company liable.

      It's like if a McDonald's puts up signs saying "Drive as fast as you can to McDonalds to get the McDouble!" The sign doesn't say that you're getting a McDouble as a reward for speeding, but people might validly think they will get a free sandwich for speeding.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        kallethen, 12 May 2021 @ 10:11am

        Re: Re:

        Some people put a lot of value in getting tons of "likes" and "followers" from stuff they posted online. I think it's a plausible argument to point to this as the rewards.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 29 May 2021 @ 6:37am

        Re: Re:

        "The sign doesn't say that you're getting a McDouble as a reward for speeding, but people might validly think they will get a free sandwich for speeding."

        There is nothing valid about such a line of thinking. The hypothetical sign encourages you to drive as fast as you can, but makes no claim that this should be based on the physical rather than the legal speed limit of your vehicle. Nor does it imply any discounts to be recieved in relation to the speed of your vehicle.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 11 May 2021 @ 5:11pm

    Rename it

    The "SnapSplat Filter".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 May 2021 @ 5:19pm

    Snapchat should deal with the issue from a perspective of preventing lawsuits and bad press, but even if a person told you they'd give you $1000 for exceeding safe speeds, you're still liable for your own actions.

    Further, would you say that a dash cam encourages unsafe driving? No, of course not.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      sumgai (profile), 11 May 2021 @ 7:10pm

      Re:

      .... even if a person told you they'd give you $1000 for exceeding safe speeds, you're still liable for your own actions.

      This!

      The State has only one position, held since the beginning of vehicular movement - public safety. From that, we see it reduced to one simple statement - you are responsible for your actions, period. No matter what outside influence might occur, you are responsible. A mitigating circumstance might be a mechanical failure, or an act of nature, things that no reasonable person could expect a human to deal with in the desired fashion. But if that kind of thing doesn't obtain, then the onus is on the driver to act responsibly, pure and simple.

      If a real live person had been in the passenger seat and offered the kilobuck to exceed the speed limit, said passenger is only an instigating factor, not the root primary cause of the action. Well, not unless he had physical control of the driver's muscles, then a case could be made that the passenger is indeed to blame. Short of that....

      Now, that's the State's position, which is an action in the name of The People. We now turn to a private action. Herein, we see the plaintiff (the parents) attempting to bypass the State's mandate to drive responsibly. The premise is that the parents would not have suffered a loss if Snap had not made a product that they deem to be unsafe (and with which the 9th Circuit agrees). This speaks directly to them feeling that their son was entitled by Snap to drive irresponsibly, for any reason at all, let alone for an alleged reward. But that goes directly against the State's mandate. The word used in the suit was "Induced", but the effective word is "entitled" - the State will see it no other way. And from that, the case will fail. Nobody has the right to claim immunity from the responsibility laid upon them by the State just because someone (passenger, software, what-have-you) said "let's see how fast it can go". Nobody. Period.

      Case dismissed.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Bluegrass Geek (profile), 12 May 2021 @ 6:07am

        Re: Re:

        From that, we see it reduced to one simple statement - you are responsible for your actions, period.

        That's... utterly wrong. Traffic law has many instances where it says "another person's actions make them liable, not you."

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 12 May 2021 @ 9:58am

        Re: Re:

        The problem here is similar to some of the issues that got the tobacco industry in trouble.

        Their argument was that its not their fault if people choose to smoke and give themselves cancer.

        One issue, or course, was the known, and enhanced addictiveness of nicotene.

        But a second issue was the deliberate marketing towards children.

        Keep in mind, in our society, legally, somebody under the age of 18 is not responsible for their own actions (except in rare cases where they are tried as an adult, and that;s usually for pretty heinous stuff).

        And something like this "speed filter" would definitely appeal to a younger audience. 45% of their users are aged 15-25, so there is definitely a reasonable expectation that this filter would be picked up by those under 18.

        Overall, I'm not sure of the outcome of this case - will actually be interesting to see. But I at least agree that the summary dismissal should be reversed, since it was on S230 grounds as a third party "meeting room", when, in fact, the controversial filter was in fact provided by Snap. AS mentioned, this makes Snap a "first party" participant in the activity, and should be examined for liability as any first-party would be.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 13 May 2021 @ 6:24am

        Re: Re:

        From that, we see it reduced to one simple statement - you are responsible for your actions, period.

        Correct. Snap is being sued over their actions: how they designed their app.

        Herein, we see the plaintiff (the parents) attempting to bypass the State's mandate to drive responsibly.

        Are you under the impression that if there was one wrong committed by one party (reckless driving), there cannot also be another wrong committed by another party? Does the lawsuit make any claim that the driver was driving responsibly? Does it make any attempt to hold another party responsible for the driving?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 May 2021 @ 9:31pm

      Re:

      even if a person told you they'd give you $1000 for exceeding safe speeds, you're still liable for your own actions.

      Who cares whether the dead people are liable? That would have no bearing on Snapchat's liability (though it seems absurd to hold them liable; why not hold cities liable when they post those radar speed-measuring signs?).

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      DannyB (profile), 12 May 2021 @ 6:29am

      Re:

      you're still liable for your own actions.

      It is 2021. How can you even suggest that people should be liable for the consequences of their own dangerous actions?!?

      If companies were not liable, then how would people get a big payday if they get injured or dead from, say, the 'Tide Pod Challenge'?

      Or consider Duracell. They put a bitter coating on their button cell batteries to stop small children from putting them in their mouths. Good for Duracell. But what is Duracell going to do to protect Millennials? Millennials will see the bitter taste of button cell batteries as another 'challenge' to see who can swallow the most button cell batteries. What is Duracell going to do for them? So shouldn't they be liable.

      And that brings us back to Snapchat. What about other GPS devices (not just apps) that can tell you how fast you are moving. Shouldn't they take responsibility to protect everyone from using the device to see how fast they can manage to get their vehicle to move? And shouldn't GPS device makers be responsible for if people are not looking at the road instead of their GPS device?

      If you buy a new vacuum cleaner, shouldn't it have a major warning sign not to use it in the swimming pool?

      How do you expect people to be able to get lawsuit jackpots from doing stupid things? Imagine all of the YouTube videos that will never get made showing people doing these things!

      Oh the humanity!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    PeterScott (profile), 11 May 2021 @ 5:22pm

    WTF is/was the speed filter?

    With a story this long, there wasn't room for a short bit about what the "speed filter" did before it was removed?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 11 May 2021 @ 5:32pm

      Re: WTF is/was the speed filter?

      It was described in the filing a previous article covered, and it's absurdly simple actually.

      'One of these filters is a speedometer that shows the speed at which a user is moving and allows for that speed to be superimposed to a Snap before sending it out over the application(the "Speed Filter").

      That's it. It calculates your current speed and allows you to list that speed on a pic you take.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 11 May 2021 @ 10:31pm

        Re: Re: WTF is/was the speed filter?

        In other words, a feature with multiple sane and even practical uses was misused for the worst possible scenario by some vain idiot teenagers. Then some parents who, like thousands every year, who lost their kids through reckless driving have decided someone else was to blame.

        It's not hard to have sympathy for the families, but if the kids were driving so recklessly for a Snapchat filter, I dare say they'd have been doing it for something else if that didn't exist.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PeterScott (profile), 12 May 2021 @ 12:37pm

        Re: Re: WTF is/was the speed filter?

        So it's effectively a speedometer.

        Seems similar to idiots who like to video the speedometer while speeding.

        That isn't an argument against speedometers.

        Section 230 shouldn't be used in this case at all. It should just be argued it's a speedometer...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          nasch (profile), 13 May 2021 @ 6:27am

          Re: Re: Re: WTF is/was the speed filter?

          So it's effectively a speedometer.

          No. The purpose of a speedometer is to display the current speed to the operator of a vehicle. The purpose of this feature is to share one's current speed with other people in other places. Anyone could have predicted such a feature would lead to idiots doing stupid things like this and getting hurt or killed. We can't even trust people not to eat toxic chemicals for internet points; it was beyond obvious what was going to happen with this.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2021 @ 11:56am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: WTF is/was the speed filter?

            Anyone could have predicted such a feature would lead to idiots doing stupid things like this and getting hurt or killed.

            It's easy to say one "could have" predicted anything. But, who did predict it? Did you? Is there proof of any such prediction?

            I certainly wouldn't think printing one's speed on a photograph would lead to death. We could just as well say that saving the GPS position in the EXIF data will surely lead to death, because people will compete to reach "odd" locations. (And people do regularly die trying to reach the summit of Everest, for example; we generally don't blame anyone other than the victims for that.)

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 11 May 2021 @ 5:28pm

    So... A Darwin Award filter?

    I'm really struggling to see how this one is even being entertained in the courts as based upon the previous article all the 'filter' does is calculate your current speed and show that on a picture, that's it, so if someone decides that 'showing your speed provides incentive to drive dangerously fast' then by that logic every vehicle maker in the country needs to be sued into the ground for having speedometers that go past the legal limit.

    It may be tough(and not nearly as profitable) for the surviving family and friends to accept but the blame for this really belongs on the person doing the speeding, not the app they're trying to pin the blame on or the company that made it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Samuel Abram (profile), 11 May 2021 @ 5:49pm

      Re: So... A Darwin Award filter?

      To be fair to the Darwin Awards, the winners last year should be the Anti-maskers who attended super-spreader events, got COVID, and died.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 11 May 2021 @ 6:40pm

    "designed Snapchat’s reward system"

    What reward?

    Little Jimmy believes if he wears this cape from a halloween costume, he can fly like a real superhero.
    Little Jimmy jumps off the garage.
    Little Jimmy splats.
    So we should sue:
    Comic Book Publishers
    The artists who created the hero he wanted to be
    The company that sold the costume without a warning it can't make you fly
    The company that made the garage climbable
    The company that made the ladder Little Jimmy climbed

    or

    We should remove the child from his parents for his own safety.

    Our children were mindcontrolled by the APP!
    The drunk driver was forced to get drunk & drive again.
    The addict was forced to shoot up again.

    or

    This is a horrible thing, but our kids chose to do this stupid thing.
    I mean 17 is old enough to be tried as an adult for murder, but somehow they are just hapless babes lead astray.
    Why aren't we suing the state for giving them a license, as its sorta of obvious they were not responsible enough to drive?
    Why aren't we suing the phone maker for allowing snapchat to run on it?
    Oh lets sue the carmaker too!

    The dealer can offer me cocaine, but I have to purchase & use the drugs. You can blame my addiction or the dealer but I handed him money and then sorted the coke of the hooker ass all by myself.

    Personal responsibility is dead.
    Should we sue the parents for providing the smartphone & service to these children who were unable to understand the idea that going very fast can end very poorly?

    I mean if they hadn;t given them the phone capable of running the app, or a car without limits on what a young driver can do this never would have happened and I'm pretty sure a parents duty to protect their child trumps any responsibility you can demand a corporation take for protecting your stupid child from making stupid decisions.

    I think Snapchat was stupid to make this filter, but at no time did they offer cash or prizes to induce the behavior. They really needed a 10 yr old to ask the obvious question... won't stupid people do stupid things & then blame us for it?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      sumgai (profile), 11 May 2021 @ 7:18pm

      Re:

      TAC,

      I loved it! Lawyers are gonna be up in arms over parts of it, but I thought you hit the nail on the head.

      Personal responsibility is dead.

      Ain't that the truth. Evasion of personal responsibility is not only alive and well, it's publicly endorsed every day by certain immoral, unethical and downright stupid politicians. Some of whom are still in power, and some who are recently out of power.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That Anonymous Coward (profile), 12 May 2021 @ 11:52am

        Re: Re:

        looks at the political landscape

        You mean telling people the reason they aren't better off is the fault of others & not because of your own poor decisions leads to stupidity?

        recalls the news footage of a farmer happily smiling in a field of rotting produce
        Well it was good they ran all of those migrant workers out of the state, and I had a couple people come to work but they all quit after an hour because it was hard work.
        But I get a government check if I don't harvest so I don't care.

        People told the migrants stole their jobs!
        Then the reality that none of those people want to do that job in the first place.
        But its the migrants fault, not their fault for thinking they are to good for that sort of work.

        People are taught to believe rights are like pie, if someone else gets a slice you get a smaller slice. So they fight like hell to keep what is theirs & will even actively do things that harm them to keep their imaginary slice the same size.

        The Happy Meal toys didn't make your kid fat lady, stop screaming at McDonalds & maybe look at the 'adult' who kept taking them there, purchasing them Happy Meals because they were unable to deal with the whining.

        You raised kids who believed a rumor, couldn't puzzle out that they might not be qualified to drive that fast, & violated several traffic laws... but the app did it not your kid.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 May 2021 @ 9:45pm

      Re:

      I think Snapchat was stupid to make this filter

      Uh... why? The Ars article says it just prints the speed onto the camera's picture. Is that really any worse than overlaying, say, the time? After all, some idiot could start an "11:11:11 onramp challenge" in which they try to take pictures of themselves merging onto a freeway at that exact time.

      It's just a record of an arbitrary fact. Sure, some people might try to get high numbers while driving. Others might just want to brag about how fast they can run, show their appreciation of high-speed trains, or certify their membership in the "mile-high club". Maybe even to document their taxi or bus driver speeding.

      Personal responsibility is dead.

      Literally in this case. The only one with any real responsibility is an ex-person.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 May 2021 @ 7:39pm

    The way it should work... the person driving the car is ultimately responsible for the safety of their passengers. The passengers in the car, or their families, need to be suing the driver/owner of the car.

    Also, what kind of reward could snapchat actually give? I would thing any kind on monetary award would put them on the hook for encouraging speeding and recklessness. If it is virtual swag it makes me sad to think what people will do for valueless rewards.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Tanner Andrews (profile), 12 May 2021 @ 12:48am

      Re:

      what kind of reward could snapchat actually give

      From the article, no reward at all was offered. Kids had developed the idea that there was a reward without reference to the lack of such. In that, they may be little better than Johnny who thinks the cape lets him fly off the garage.

      No, it is not a S:230 case, you do not get it dismissed on that basis. You answer and move for summary judgment, offering the docs concerning the speed filter and affidavit that no reward had ever been offered. It follows that there was no deviation from the standard of care, and thus no negligence.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 12 May 2021 @ 2:08am

        Re: Re:

        The supposed "reward" was nothing more than the same kind of imagining as such other fantasies cooked up by teenagers as the "Tomb Raider Nude Code", just something someone imagined would be cool if it did exist and therefore it must do, right?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 12 May 2021 @ 2:10am

          Re: Re: Re:

          A friend told me a that a friend of their friend, who goes to another school, so you wouldn't know him, totally got it to work once!

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    BG (profile), 12 May 2021 @ 2:40am

    Sued for making a speedometer?

    Can anyone correct me on this? Is the Court essentially saying it's ok for a case, essentially about a company effectively making a speedometer, to proceed?

    Why isn't the car manufacturer being sued for making a car that can go that fast? Why isn't the car manufacturer being sued for making a speedometer and including it in the car?

    There are already laws pertaining to speeding while driving. There are already laws pertaining to dangerous / reckless driving. There are laws (usually) about usage of phones while driving. The driver of the car broke all of these laws, not SnapChat.

    It's very difficult to see this decision as something other than being motivated by "Deep Pockets" or "Big Tech Bad" opinion.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 12 May 2021 @ 4:18am

      Re: Sued for making a speedometer?

      Can anyone correct me on this? Is the Court essentially saying it's ok for a case, essentially about a company effectively making a speedometer, to proceed?

      Not so much, the main issue seems to be that the lower court tossed the case on 230 grounds and the appeals court is ruling that 230 doesn't apply, which means it will have to make another run through the lower court without 230 as a viable defense to get it tossed quickly. Given how insane the case is though I'd be rather surprised if it didn't get tossed again even without 230 to shortcut the lawsuit.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 12 May 2021 @ 6:03am

        Re: Re: Sued for making a speedometer?

        It won't get tossed that easily. If there is even the slightest indication in any marketing that was done to show people using this filter to show how fast people are going in a car i get the feeling snapchat will be held at least partially responsible.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 12 May 2021 @ 6:56am

          Re: Re: Re: Sued for making a speedometer?

          There doesn't even need to be any marketing, if it can be shown that the mere existence of the feature might encourage more recklessness. In the US there is a legal concept of an "attractive nuisance". This is why domestic swimming pools have to be surrounded by an effective fence. If a child drowns in such a pool and it can be shown that the owners didn't take sufficient precautions, they can be held liable for the death. To me it doesn't really make sense - the parents should be teaching their kids not to trespass and not to do stupid, dangerous things.

          Still, if youth were known to be competing with each other for the "fastest video" and Snapchat then introduced a "speed filter", they could be held at least partially liable for accidents where it was being used in said competition. Because, lawyers will say, they should have known that it would encourage dangerous behaviour.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Bluegrass Geek (profile), 12 May 2021 @ 12:16pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Sued for making a speedometer?

            To me it doesn't really make sense - the parents should be teaching their kids not to trespass and not to do stupid, dangerous things.

            This is primarily aimed at protecting kids too young to understand the concept of trespassing, or who don't consider swimming alone to be dangerous.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 12 May 2021 @ 1:49pm

          Re: Re: Re: Sued for making a speedometer?

          The entire point of the app is to show how fast you're going but that fact shouldn't leave the company liable for people using it while driving at unsafe speeds any more than a company that markets knifes as 'able to cut through anything with no problem' should be on the hook if someone decided to see if 'anything' included people.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 12 May 2021 @ 11:25pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Sued for making a speedometer?

            The app shows how fast you're going, that's down to Snapchat.

            Whether you use it mounted on the handlebars of your bike, in the passenger seat of a bullet train or in your hands while you're driving a car is up to you.

            It's just another example of someone making a tool with many purposes, and it becoming controversial because there's idiots around.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 May 2021 @ 8:05am

    confused

    and what about the car? and it's role in the matter?
    What type of car was it? Why was it designed to go over 2x speed limit?
    Who bought the car?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 12 May 2021 @ 10:04pm

    This is the very kind of scam Section 230 was supposed to protect against.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 13 May 2021 @ 6:33am

      Re:

      This is the very kind of scam Section 230 was supposed to protect against.

      No, section 230 was designed to protect users and companies from being held liable for the speech of others. That is not what is happening here. It says so right in the story:

      The plaintiffs don't claim Snapchat isn't a publisher of third-party content. They don't even argue this lawsuit centers on the "speed filter" post made shortly before the accident. Instead, they argue the app itself -- with its attendant (but now removed) "speed filter" -- is negligently-designed, leading directly to the tragedies at the center of this suit.

      I don't know if the lawsuit should succeed or be tossed immediately for some other reason or what, but it's appropriate IMO not to dismiss it via 230.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Toom1275 (profile), 13 May 2021 @ 12:29pm

        Re: Re:

        Arguing the law doesn't matter because these scammers think they found an end-run around it isn't as strong an argument as you think it is.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          nasch (profile), 13 May 2021 @ 12:57pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Arguing the law doesn't matter

          Did you reply to the wrong comment? If not, I don't know how you could read my comment as arguing that the law doesn't matter. I am arguing that section 230 doesn't say "you can dismiss any lawsuit you want if you have an app or a web site".

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 May 2021 @ 6:35am

    Cops also have to stop utilising speed traps since a teen might treat it as a high score contest. At a minimum they have to get rid of those signs that display your speed since even a reasonable adult might find it moderately enjoyable to hit 2x the limit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 14 May 2021 @ 7:04am

      Re:

      At a minimum they have to get rid of those signs that display your speed since even a reasonable adult might find it moderately enjoyable to hit 2x the limit.

      They've started just flashing SLOW DOWN after 5 over the limit for exactly that reason.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Naughty Autie, 18 May 2021 @ 8:00am

    "According to the allegations, a number of Snapchat users believed (incorrectly) Snapchat would reward them (the ruling doesn't specify with what) for exceeding 100 mph." Of course, and the fact that Tesco sells plant-based foods means I get a million Clubcard points for going vegan. I can't believe that the court is even buying such an argument. It's completely ridiculous on its face.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 18 May 2021 @ 8:27am

      Re:

      I can't believe that the court is even buying such an argument.

      I ain't no lawyer, but I believe at this stage it's not saying it buys the argument, only that the argument isn't precluded by section 230, and it should go back to the lower court to be decided.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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