Parler Social Media, the US firm behind the popular social media service LinkedIn, says no one can be legally held liable when their social media content is used to harm others.
Lawyers representing social media firms and their clients have asked a US federal court to allow a lawsuit brought by two social media companies, LinkedIn and Reddit, that allege they have been defamed by content posted on the sites.
The plaintiffs allege the content was defamatory and published to create a false impression of their company.
They claim their accounts were accessed by members of a criminal syndicate who used them to target them with harassing messages, abuse, and death threats.
Facebook’s legal team, however, argues that its social media guidelines don’t require social media sites to disclose their members’ identities.
“Facebook does not make public who is or is not a member of the company.
That information is collected by Facebook in accordance with our terms and conditions and is used only for the purpose of facilitating communications with members,” a Facebook spokesperson told Reuters news agency.
LinkedIn and Reddit declined to comment on the case.
LinkedIn’s legal representation, which includes former US District Judge Robert Hinkle, wrote in a court filing on Monday that the plaintiffs are not suing LinkedIn, but instead are seeking “to recover the damages that LinkedIn has caused them” through the suit.
Hinkle ruled in January that LinkedIn was liable for posts that disparaged LinkedIn’s employees, as well as its founders and employees.
In a statement, Hinkle said: “The Plaintiffs are entitled to recover damages, including emotional distress, as a result of their online statements.
Lloyd Blankfein, the former CEO of LinkedIn, was also named as a defendant in the suit.”
The two social networks have not yet responded to a request for comment.
Parler is also a prominent social media law firm in Washington, DC, which has represented LinkedIn in other defamation cases.
A Facebook spokesperson said: “As part of our work to build the most trustworthy and secure environment for our users, we take seriously our responsibility to protect their personal information, and Parler is a trusted partner in this effort.”
Reddit’s legal representatives, meanwhile, have not commented on the lawsuit.