Internet giants weigh in on defamation lawsuit

AMANDA LEE MYERS Associated Press Published:

CINCINNATI (AP) -- From Twitter and Facebook to Amazon and Google, the biggest names of the Internet are blasting a federal judge's decision to allow a former Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader's defamation lawsuit against a gossip website to go to trial.

The Internet giants recently filed briefs in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.

The briefs are part of a lawsuit involving ex-Bengals cheerleader Sarah Jones against an Arizona-based website

A jury found in July that posts on the site about Jones were substantially false and awarded her $338,000.

The companies say that if upheld, the northern Kentucky judge's ruling to let the lawsuit proceed has the potential to "significantly chill online speech" and undermine a 1996 federal law that provides broad immunity to websites.