From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Type of site
Available inEnglish
Owner Aaron Greenspan
ProductsReality Check
CommercialOptional paid subscription
Current statusOnline

PlainSite is a US based website dedicated to legal data transparency advocacy [1] [2] developed in conjunction by Think Computer Corporation and the charitable organization Think Computer Foundation. [3] PlainSite provides both free and paid access to legal documents and information about the US legal system on a variety of subjects and caselaw. [4] The website previously collected legal documents via the Free Law Project's RECAP archive until the archive adopted a fee-based approach. [4]

PlainSite on occasion publishes a report called Reality Check in which each edition focuses on a particular company and details allegations and controversies surrounding it. [5] In the report on Credit Acceptance, the authors "questioned the health of the company and the quality of the loans backing their securities." In another edition concerning Facebook, the authors allege Facebook not only has approximately one billion fake accounts but that the company itself facilitates fake account creation in order to boost user metrics. [6]


While PlainSite archives extensive legal documentation and analysis concerning companies, it also has had its own controversial involvements in litigious matters concerning Facebook, [7] Tesla, [8] and Elon Musk [9] specifically.

In 2012, PlainSite published a list of 2,000 suspected patent trolls assembled from records available via the United States Patent and Trademark Office's patents database. [10] Later, a man convicted in 2013 of conspiring to commit mortgage fraud [11] unsuccessfully attempted to delist PlainSite along with other legal and government-controlled websites from Google's index for hosting legal documents pertaining to him. [12]


PlainSite's republishing of unsealed documents regarding Tesla's acquisition of SolarCity was noted by multiple publications, [13] [14] as well as a published email exchange between Elon Musk and Greenspan regarding Randeep Hothi. [15] In March 2021, PlainSite uncovered DMV records showing that Tesla considers its Full Self-Driving technology to currently be non-autonomous. [16] [17] In May 2021, PlainSite released a memo in which Tesla's director of Autopilot software told the California DMV that Musk has been overstating Autopilot's capabilities, saying "Elon’s tweet does not match engineering reality". [18] Greenspan has disclosed his ownership of put options against Tesla's stock. [19]

In March 2021, PlainSite published FOIA documents indicating conglomerate Softbank was under "active investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission." [20] [21]


  1. ^ Kolodny, Lora (2019-09-23). "Tesla and Musk hid facts about SolarCity deal and SpaceX involvement, shareholders claim in unsealed court docs". CNBC. Retrieved 2020-05-29.
  2. ^ Krolik, Aaron; Hill, Kashmir (2021-04-24). "The Slander Industry". The New York Times. ISSN  0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-04-25.
  3. ^ "Charity Navigator - Unrated Profile for Think Computer Foundation". Charity Navigator. Retrieved 2020-05-29.
  4. ^ a b Ambrogi, Robert (2018-02-16). "Invective and Intrigue Within the Free Law Movement Over RECAP Changes". LawSites. Retrieved 2020-05-30.
  5. ^ "PlainSite :: Reality Check". Retrieved 2020-08-19.
  6. ^ Morse, Jack. "50 percent of Facebook users could be fake, report claims". Mashable. Retrieved 2020-09-14.
  7. ^ Boyd-Barrett, Oliver (2020). RussiaGate and propaganda: disinformation in the age of social media. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. ISBN  978-0-429-26053-7. OCLC  1107667017.
  8. ^ Rudgard, Olivia (2019-11-10). "Trouble at Tesla: How fires and lawsuits could thwart Elon Musk's big bet on solar energy". The Telegraph. ISSN  0307-1235. Retrieved 2020-05-29.
  9. ^ "Tesla Investor Latest To Sue Elon Musk For Libel By Tweet - Law360". Retrieved 2020-05-29.
  10. ^ Kim, Kathleen (2012-12-21). "Legal Research Site Names 2,000 Patent Trolls". Retrieved 2020-08-04.
  11. ^ Fri, Jul 31st 2015 8:53am-Tim Cushing. "Of All The Ways The DMCA Takedown Process Can Be Responsibly Used, These Are None Of Them". Techdirt. Retrieved 2020-07-17.{{ cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list ( link)
  12. ^ Tue, Nov 22nd 2016 10:45am-Tim Cushing. "Convicted Felon Ask Google To Delist Multiple Government Websites Because His Name Is Protected By 'Common Law Trademark'". Techdirt. Retrieved 2020-07-17.{{ cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list ( link)
  13. ^ Derrick, Jayson (2019-09-24). "Unsealed Court Docs Raise New Questions About Tesla's SolarCity Acquisition". Benzinga. Retrieved 2020-05-30.
  14. ^ "SolarCity's Troubles Fuel the Religious War Around Tesla's Future and Elon Musk". Pro Market. 2019-10-30. Retrieved 2020-05-30.
  15. ^ "The Tesla Skeptics Who Bet Against Elon Musk". Retrieved 2020-07-17.
  16. ^ Silver, David. "Tesla Emails To The California DMV Emphasize Continued Reliance On Maps". Forbes. Retrieved 2021-03-25.
  17. ^ "Tesla touts self-driving to consumers. To the DMV, it tells a different tale". Los Angeles Times. 2021-03-09. Retrieved 2021-03-25.
  18. ^ Hawkins, Andrew J. (2021-05-07). "Tesla privately admits Elon Musk has been exaggerating about 'full self-driving'". The Verge. Retrieved 2021-05-07.
  19. ^ California Northern District Court (May 15, 2020). "Greenspan v. Qazi et al: Exhibit M". Plainsite. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
  20. ^ "SEC Confirms Probe of SoftBank". Institutional Investor. Retrieved 2021-03-25.
  21. ^ "The SEC Is Investigating Major Tech Investor Softbank". Retrieved 2021-03-25.