Appeals Court Rules For Grindr In Impersonation Suit, Plaintiff Claims Ex-BF Had 1000+ Men Seek Him Out

Courthouse News Service reports:

The case of the New Yorker whose nightmarish experience on Grindr sparked national headlines and federal litigation will disappear with neither a trace nor a precedent.

An attorney for Matthew Herrick, whose ex-boyfriend used the hook-up app to send about 1,100 suitors Herrick’s way, had choice words Wednesday after the Second Circuit affirmed dismissal of their case.

“They’re allowing Big Tech to knowingly profit from stalking, rape and murder, when Big Tech companies are the only ones who can stop it,” attorney Tor Ekeland said in a phone interview.

NBC News reports:

The 3-0 decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals against Matthew Herrick came in a closely watched case over how far the Communications Decency Act, a 1996 federal law meant to restrict pornography while allowing other speech online, should shield Internet-based companies from user abuses.

The court rejected Herrick’s negligence and emotional distress claims for Grindr’s failure to edit or remove his former boyfriend’s offensive content.

It said Grindr was shielded from liability for exercising “a publisher’s traditional editorial functions,” or providing “‘neutral assistance’ in the form of tools and functionality available equally to bad actors and the app’s intended users.”

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 as 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.