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March 18, 2019

Rep. Devin Nunes Suing Twitter and Accounts He Claims Are Defamatory for a Total of $250 Million

I don't know if his suit against Twitter will go anywhere, as Twitter has the immunity granted to a "platform" when it obviously is actually a publisher scarcely different from the New York Times' staff choosing what letters to the editor to publish.

And Congress will not repeal that -- the Democrats are pro-censorship of conservatives and the Republicans are bribed by the industry to be cool with censorship of conservatives.

I don't know about the lawsuits against the individuals. Given how hard it is for a public figure to win on a defamation claim, they'll probably be fine too.

California GOP Rep. Devin Nunes filed a major lawsuit seeking $250 million in compensatory damages and $350,000 in punitive damages against Twitter and a handful of its users on Monday, accusing the social media site of "shadow-banning conservatives" including himself to influence the 2018 elections, systematically censoring opposing viewpoints and totally "ignoring" lawful complaints of repeated abusive behavior.

In a complaint filed in Virginia state court on Monday, obtained by Fox News, Nunes said Twitter was guilty of "knowingly hosting and monetizing content that is clearly abusive, hateful and defamatory -- providing both a voice and financial incentive to the defamers -- thereby facilitating defamation on its platform."

Although federal law ordinarily exempts services like Twitter from defamation liability, Nunes' suit said the platform has taken such an active role in curating and banning content that it should face liability like any other organization that defames.

I like the argument, but unlike David French and other liberals, I don't allow my liking of an argument to influence my evaluation of its strength. The Communication Decency Act gives publishers like Twitter the designation of "platform" and says they can't be held liable for a third party's defamations, and that's pretty much the end of that discussion.

Congress could modify that at some point but they won't; Democrats want to restrict conservatives' free speech, and too many Republicans are frankly on the take. And also frequently consider conservatives' free speech to be a bother they would rather not suffer themselves.


In large part because of Twitter's actions, Nunes "endured an orchestrated defamation campaign of stunning breadth and scope, one that no human being should ever have to bear and suffer in their whole life" in the past year, according to the complaint.

The complaint also named specific Twitter accounts that spread allegedly defamatory material about Nunes. One defendant, identified as "Liz" Mair, purportedly published tweets that "implied that Nunes colluded with prostitutes and cocaine addicts, that Nunes does cocaine, and that Nunes was involved in a 'Russian money laundering front,'" according to Nunes' lawyers.

The complaint quoted a June 22, 2018 tweet from Mair that implied Nunes invested in a winery that "allegedly used underage hookers to solicit investment."

Mair did not respond to Fox News' request for comment.

I don't know if that's defamatory, as it's loaded with "allegedlies" which will probably protect it.

Update: Maybe not. Nunes alleges that Mair is working "with" these fake-name attack accounts.

And a friend who just read the lawsuit itself tells me that Mair's LinkedIn profile says she's paid to "anonymously smear people on the Internet."

That's probably enough to allow a suit to go forward to determine if those anonymous accounts are in fact managed by or supported by Mair. (Assuming they push actual defamation which could serve as the basis for liability. If they don't push actual defamation, a court will reject attempts to probe who runs these accounts.*)

A lot of people have suspicions that these various attack accounts are in fact dummy accounts of people/groups funded by NeverTrump's deep-pocketed backers. I'd sure like to see some discovery on that point.

The complaint also charged that Twitter "shadow-banned" Nunes in 2018 "in order to restrict his free speech and to amplify the abusive and hateful content published and republished by Mair, Devin Nunes' Mom [an attack account pretending to be his mother]" and other accounts.

"The shadow-banning was intentional," the complaint continued. "It was calculated to interfere with and influence the federal election and interfere with Nunes’ ongoing investigation as a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Twitter’s actions affected the election results. The combination of the shadow-ban and Twitter’s refusal to enforce its Terms and Rules in the face of clear and present abuse and hateful conduct caused Nunes to lose support amongst voters."

Eh. I wish this case were stronger, or that Nunes would hold off on his suit so that a stronger suit can be first to market.

Then again, this wouldn't be the first lawsuit. But this would be the one the media talks about a lot, and not in a good way.

Meghan Murphy, who runs FeministCurrent, Canada’s leading feminist website, is suing Twitter for banning her for her personal beliefs.

The lawsuit, filed on Monday, says she was banned because her beliefs don’t align with the company’s politics.

She sued twitter for banning her for stating a truth, that a man born as a man is a man. Twitter, while claiming to be nonpartisan, is enforcing the sexual left's fringiest positions, including the claim that it is a hate crime and Actual Violence to "misgender" someone by correctly stating their gender.

You gotta click on that to see the picture of the guy she's saying is a guy. He identifies as a "lesbian transwoman," which means he's attracted to women, and that he's actually a guy who is claiming to be a woman.

Here's the thing: He has a full luxurious mustache and beard.

It's like this is a baiting performance-act joke.

* Though I should say that in my own case, the Obama-appointed judge was extremely unwilling to protect my anonymity.

But in general, if you're not a conservative in front of an Obama-appointed judge, courts are supposed to honor the tradition of anonymous speech as part of one's free speech rights.

Is This a Theory That Works?

91 Social media makes money off of data collection of the user. Shadow banning would be fraud. They collect data and profits while denying you their service while claiming that they are.

Posted by: literally serious

If they're taking what they want from you (data, eyes for its sponsored posts) and not giving you what they've promised in return (publicly communicating with the world) -- that is either fraud or breach of contract or both.

digg this
posted by Ace of Spades at 07:01 PM

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