By Amy Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Why does Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon and other tech giants care what mean things were said about an ex-Bengals cheerleader?

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When tabloid internet site The Dirty (yeah, it’s as classy as it sounds) posted rumors that a former Bengals cheerleader, Sarah Jones, had slept with many team mmembers and that her husband had given her a venereal disease, you might have thought, so? Who cares?

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The answer is: she did, and now many internet giants do too. Because she sued the website The Dirty, which argued that under the law, a website usually can’t be held responsible for the content posted by a third party. That law, the Communications Decency Act, protects websites like Yahoo! Google and all the others from lawsuits where someone claims that they were defamed when someone else posted something false about them on the website.

But, the ‘Dirty’ Judge, which is to say, the Judge in case of Jones versus The Dirty, said that the Dirty should be held responsible because it handpicked what content went up on its site.

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The Dirty has appealed and global tech giants are springing to its aid to get this judgment overturned because if the judgment stands, they could all potentially lose protection from defamation lawsuits too. A silly, dirty, gossipy lawsuit that will have huge technical and financial implications. I’ll keep you “posted”.