This section covers official government restrictions of speech prior to publication. Prior restraints are viewed by the U.S. Supreme Court as “the most serious and the least tolerable infringement on First Amendment rights," which repeatedly has found that such restraints are presumed unconstitutional. Restraints on Internet speech follow the same rules, although particular speech can often be restrained if it has already been adjudged as libelous.
Digital Journalist's Legal Guide
Everything online journalists need to protect their legal rights. This free resource culls from all Reporters Committee resources and includes exclusive content on digital media law issues.
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, together with 30 other media organizations, filed an amicus letter brief with the California Supreme Court urging it to review a case in which Yelp was ordered to take down material from its site without notice or an opportunity to be heard. A trial court had entered a default judgment in a libel suit after the defendant failed to appear and contest the suit. The plaintiff then sought and received an injunction requiring Yelp to remove the reviews. Two courts found that Yelp was bound by the injunction. The amicus letter argued that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act immunizes online services providers from injunctions, an injunction restraining speech of a nonparty is an improper remedy for a defamation action, and the lower courts improperly required a content distributor to remove speech before allowing an opportunity to be heard.