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, explicitly and systematically censoring opposing viewpoints and “ignoring” lawful complaints of repeated abusive behavior.
California GOP Rep. Devin Nunes and a handful of others have filed a lawsuit against Twitter for $250 million in compensatory damages and $350,000 in punitive damages. They are accusing the social media business for “shadow-banning conservatives” by secretly hiding their posts, censoring their different viewpoints and then ignoring the complaint of repeated abusive behavior.
In a complaint filed in Virginia state court on Monday, obtained by Fox News, Nunes claimed Twitter wanted to derail his work on the House Intelligence Committee, which he chaired until 2019, as he looked into alleged and apparent surveillance abuses by the government. 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.”
The lawsuit alleged defamation, conspiracy and negligence, as well as violations of the state’s prohibition against “insulting words” — effectively fighting words that tend towards “violence and breach of the peace.” The complaint sought not only damages, but also an injunction compelling Twitter to turn over the identities behind numerous accounts he said harassed and defamed him.
The Constitution protects free speech in the town square. Although Twitters CEO has testified that Twitter is like a modern-day town square, he said that it is a privately owned company that can censor speech.
There needs to be a legal and constitutional discussion on whether these big tech companies that offer a platform similar to what the “town Square’ used to be, are stifling the 1st Amendment rights of the citizens of the U.S. It is the new public forum that is free for all Americans to gather.