The Wikimedia Foundation’s ability to host Wikipedia hangs in the balance in a Supreme Court case against YouTube. Our friend-of-the-court brief explains how.
Written by the Wikimedia Foundation’s: Jacob Rogers, Associate General Counsel, and Leighanna Mixter, Senior Legal Manager. (Special thanks to our legal fellow, Raji Gururaj, who assisted with research on this case.)
In 2015, U.S. student Nohemi Gonzalez was tragically killed in Paris during a series of coordinated terrorist attacks. In Gonzalez v. Google LLC, her family is suing YouTube for showing recruitment videos from the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist organization to its users. Gonzalez v. Google is a crucially important case because it will be the first time that the Supreme Court will consider Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects website hosts from lawsuits for the content submitted by users.
As host of Wikipedia and other volunteer-run free knowledge projects, the Wikimedia Foundation strongly condemns terrorist violence. Terrorism advocacy and recruitment are not tolerated on Wikimedia platforms. But as we explain in our amicus brief, filed with the United States Supreme Court on 19 January, 2023, the Foundation supports Google’s perspective on the law because it protects our ability to host Wikipedia and other volunteer-run, free knowledge projects. Section 230 is one of the key laws that has supported internet hosting for over two decades, including protecting the Wikimedia projects.