Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald Nunes Judge Rules Nunes Can’t Sue Twitter For Satirical Accounts Bolton’s Book Decision: Correct Answer, Incorrect Reasoning Ocasio-Cortez Builds Political Army And Fundraising Machine To Match MORE (R-Calif.) He cannot include Twitter in his lawsuit against two parody accounts and a Republican strategist whom he accuses of defaming him on the platform, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
Twitter cannot be legally responsible for the account statements and strategist Liz Mair, judge John Marshall ruled, citing federal law.
California Republican Marshall wrote, “He wants the court to treat Twitter as the publisher or speaker of content provided by others based on whether or not to allow certain content to be on their Internet platform,” adding that “the court refuses to do it then, “according to Fresno’s bee.
In the 2019 lawsuit, Nunes claimed that Mair and the anonymous accounts, which publish Nunes’ cow character and his mother, respectively, harmed his reputation and led him to win his 2018 re-election with just 53 percent of votes after winning 68 percent in 2016. He also accused the social media platform of negligence for allowing the statements to be made, the newspaper reported.
Twitter’s attorneys cited Section 230, the federal law that social media platforms are not responsible for content posted by third parties unless they have helped develop or create it. Nunes’ attorney, Steven Biss, claimed that the company favored liberal content over conservative content and that it had promoted content that mocked Nunes, and that as a result the protections of Section 230 did not apply.
Marshall disagreed, saying that existing legal precedent holds that Section 230 still applies to platforms that are biased in content that they allow. Nunes’ lawsuits against the two parody and Mair accounts are still pending, but the ruling will likely complicate her efforts to force Twitter to reveal the people behind the anonymous accounts.
“We are trying to find out who they are, and we read the comments on Twitter, despite how painful it is, we do it every day,” Biss told Fresno Bee earlier this month. “But we are at a dead end.”
Nunes is also suing four news organizations, including McClatchy, owner of Fresno Bee.