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Shiamili v. Real Estate Group of New York, Inc – Case Brief Summary (New York)

In Shiamili v. Real Estate Group of New York, Inc., 17 NY3d 281, 929 N.Y.S.2d 19, 952 N.E.2d 1011 (2011), plaintiff Christakis Shiamili ("Shiamili"), CEO of Ardor Realty Corp. ("Ardor") sued the Real Estate Group of New York, Inc. ("TREGNY") for defamation. Plaintiff and TREGNY both sold and rented New York City apartments.

It was alleged that TREGNY "allegedly administered and chose content for' a publicly accessible website -- a blog' -- dedicated to the New York City real estate industry" (id. at 2), and published defamatory statements about plaintiff on the website.

The Court stated that a website is generally not a "content provider" with respect to comments posted by third-party users, and rejected plaintiff's contention "that defendants should be deemed content providers because they created and ran a website which implicitly encouraged users to post negative comments about the New York City real estate industry."

Also, there was no allegation that defendants actually authored the statements. Further, there was no allegation that "the defamatory comments were posted in response to any specific invitation for users to bash" plaintiff.

Thus, the Court of Appeals held that Section 230 immunized the defendant since the complaint alleged only that the operator published and edited content authored by a third party.