The Associated Press reports:
A gay dating app wants a judge to dismiss the claims of a New York man who says he’s been accosted at home and work by over 1,000 sex-hungry men after an ex-boyfriend posted fake profiles soliciting men interested in exploring violent fantasies.
Grindr asked a Manhattan federal court judge Wednesday to toss out Matthew Herrick’s claims, saying the Communications Decency Act protects it from liability and Herrick should sue his ex-lover instead. The act bars social-networking companies from being sued for speech used by their customers.
Grindr said it can’t be blamed because Herrick, a 32-year-old restaurant worker pursuing a career in acting and modeling, got “mixed up with a tech savvy, judgment-proof individual.”
The company said the lawsuit must be dismissed because Herrick’s lawyers “cannot identify any cases in which a court found that a website owed a duty to protect a plaintiff from third-party content. This is unsurprising, given Congress’ explicit instruction in the CDA that no such duty exists.”
“Judgment-proof” typically means broke and therefore unable to pay any ordered settlement.
From my first report on this case back in February:
Last October, Matthew Herrick was smoking a cigarette in front of his West Harlem brownstone when the first visitor appeared. As Herrick tells it, the man innocently pressed the buzzer for Herrick’s apartment.
Then he asked matter-of-factly if Herrick was the one who been communicating with him via the hookup app Grindr, and who’d minutes earlier invited him over for sex. Herrick said that he hadn’t—he hadn’t even looked at the app in a week—and asked how the stranger even knew his name.
That’s when the man pulled out his phone and showed Herrick a Grindr profile that included a photo of Herrick in his kitchen, taken from his Instagram account, including the 32-year-old actor and model’s face and bare chest. Herrick was unnerved. “That’s me, but that’s not me,” he remembers saying.
Herrick claims that he only got automated responses to “more than 100” pleas that Grindr delete and block the impersonation profiles created by his ex. He also says that the fake profiles falsely described him as HIV+ and interested in bondage/rape scenes. Men who responded to the fake ads were reportedly told that if he told them to go away, that was just part of the fantasy. Hit the first link for more.