Today the Supreme Court of the United States heard arguments in the case of Gonzalez v. Google LLC and the internet is nervous. The case revolves around YouTube’s algorithms and whether they should be held liable for their suggested video content.
Typically, websites are protected under section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, though the limits are being tested with greater frequency. Gonzalez aims to hold YouTube’s parent company, Google, responsible for aiding and abetting ISIS in their 2015 Paris attack under the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act.
Various commentators believe that a ruling overturning the lower court’s decision in favor of Google could result in open season on the internet. The National Center for State Courts most recent Trends in State Courts Report discusses simulation efforts to proactively predict the case load such a ruling would have on courts, but liability suits could overwhelm courts and stifle internet economies.
As a neutral with 25 years in the practice, if these predictions are accurate, courts likely will turn to experienced neutrals even more for support in case management and settlement efforts. Regardless of the final decision in Gonzalez, opportunities for neutrals to assist in the resolution of complex disputes will continue to grow and evolve as we move toward a more digital world and way of life.