Document Type



Civil Procedure | Internet Law | Torts


Internet use in the United States continues to increase at a rate that outpaces the legal system. From reliance on outdated precedent, differing long-arm statutes, and emergent technologies, there are unanswered questions of whether existing precedent is sufficient to handle our increasingly borderless society.

Many courts still rely on the Zippo test despite the exponential advancements in how we use the internet in the twenty-five years since the Western District of Pennsylvania developed a framework for this issue. The Supreme Court has continued to avoid directly addressing the issue. In 2014, the Court left decisions on virtual presence to “another day,” and nearly a decade after that decision, there is no indication that this day is coming anytime soon.

The Court’s avoidance of this issue has led to varying interpretations of whether it is appropriate for courts to exercise specific personal jurisdiction over internet conduct. As a result, some circuits believe that the existing tests are sufficient to address internet-based conduct, while others adhere more rigidly to the Zippo framework. By analyzing defamation across different states and the potential impact of the metaverse, this Note articulates the impact that these differing approaches can have on individuals’ access to justice before proposing solutions to the problem.