Judge rejects request to block Facebook from blocking cat filter

TechCrunch article The US District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that Facebook must block a cat filter called Cat Filter from its servers if it wants to keep it from blocking users’ searches.

The decision, which the company is appealing, comes after the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco blocked the company from blocking searches for cat owners in October.

The Ninth Circuit, in a unanimous opinion, found that blocking search terms for cat parents was a violation of their First Amendment rights.

Facebook is fighting the Ninth Circuits decision, arguing that it’s a necessary step in the process of filtering search terms related to cat owners.

“The court finds that, absent an order from Congress, Facebook cannot block users from using the Cat Filter without violating their rights under the First Amendment,” the court wrote in its opinion.

The company says it will appeal.

The Cat Filter filter blocked search terms like “my cat, my mom, my kids, my house,” but users were still able to type the words “my pet, my cat,” “my dogs, my cats,” “dogs,” and “kids.”

The company is fighting against the Ninth Court of appeals ruling, saying the search terms should be blocked.

“As a company, we support freedom of speech, and the First amendment protects all of our users’ First Amendment freedoms,” Facebook spokesperson Ben Lang said in a statement.

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