Woman Can Sue After MySpace Shut Her Down

     (CN) – The 9th Circuit revived a lawsuit against MySpace by a woman who claims she became emotionally distraught when the social networking website deleted her account, dedicated to verifying the authenticity of celebrity profiles.



     Predating a similar verification service offered by Twitter, Julie Riggs created “Celebrity Guardian Angel” on MySpace in 2006.
     She claimed to have verified accounts belonging to Heather Locklear, Val Kilmer, Michael Bay and Samuel L. Jackson. Users could trust that the accounts were real when Celebrity Guardian Angel had awarded badges to the profiles.
     But MySpace soon deleted Riggs’ account when a user pretending to be Johnny Depp accused her of harassment in a complaint to the website.
     Riggs filed suit, pro se, for negligence, gross negligence, promissory fraud breach of contract, and breach of implied-in-fact contract.
     On Monday, a three-judge appellate panel affirmed dismissal of all but the last claim, which alleges that News Corp. breached an implied promise to buy Riggs’ idea for a celebrity-verification service when it used to own MySpace. Specific Media bought MySpace last month from the Rupert Murdoch company.
     Riggs had claimed she told a News Corp. executive assistant that she wanted to sell her ideas for a MySpace website devoted to celebrities before she disclosed them.
     The unsigned four-page decision affirms dismissal of the negligence and gross negligence claims, saying the Communications Decency Act protects MySpace’s decisions to delete Riggs’ accounts but not delete certain, allegedly fake, celebrity profiles.
     Riggs cannot sue for promissory fraud breach of contract because she failed to allege damages, according to the decision.

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