Internet giants weigh in on defamation lawsuit

4:47 PM, Dec 8, 2013   |    comments
Sarah Jones, former Dixie Heights High School teacher and Cincinnati Ben-Gal cheerleader appears in court in 2012. (Cincinnati Enquirer file/Patrick Reddy)
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CINCINNATI (AP) - From Twitter and Facebook to Amazon and Google, the biggest names of the Internet are blasting a federal judge's decision to allow a former Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader's defamation lawsuit against a gossip website to go to trial.

The Internet giants recently filed briefs in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.

The briefs are part of a lawsuit involving ex-Bengals cheerleader Sarah Jones against an Arizona-based website thedirty.com.

A jury found in July that posts on the site about Jones were substantially false and awarded her $338,000.

The companies say that if upheld, the northern Kentucky judge's ruling to let the lawsuit proceed has the potential to "significantly chill online speech" and undermine a 1996 federal law that provides broad immunity to websites.

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