Internet giants weigh in on Ohio defamation suit

Associated Press
FILE-This Monday, July 30, 2012 file photo shows Sarah Jones, a former Dixie Heights High School teacher and Cincinnati Ben-Gal cheerleader, arriving at the Kenton County Justice Center, in Covington, Ky. Jones, who was convicted of having sex with her 17-year-old student three months ago, is suing a controversial Scottsdale, Ariz.-based gossip website and its owner over lewd comments made about her online long before any accusations involving the teenager surfaced. (AP Photo/The Enquirer, Patrick Reddy, File) NO SALES
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FILE-This Monday, July 30, 2012 file photo shows Sarah Jones, a former Dixie Heights High School teacher …

CINCINNATI (AP) — From Twitter and Facebook to Amazon and Google, the biggest names of the Internet are blasting a federal judge's decision in a defamation lawsuit by a former Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader convicted of having sex with her former high school student.

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 thedirty.com.

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 in favor of the former cheerleader has the potential to "significantly chill online speech" and undermine a 1996 federal law that provides broad immunity to websites.

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