Republican California Representative Devin Nunes is suing Twitter over its shadow ban and censorship of conservatives.
Last year the tech giant removed Nunes’ and several other conservative’s accounts from the side drop-down menu. Lifesite news has more details:
Last summer, Nunes was one of several Republican lawmakers and GOP leaders whose Twitter accounts had disappeared from the drop-down menu that normally populates when typing in a name, without comparable figures such as Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez or any of the 78-member Progressive Caucus being affected. Twitter soon corrected the problem and denied it engaged in shadow-banning (the practice of restricting a user’s visibility without notifying him or her).
The company claimed it simply “rank[s] tweets and search results” to ensure content is “immediately relevant” based on a number of factors, including whether a user “intend[s] to manipulate or divide the conversation.” Such tweets are determined based on whether an account appears to be a real person (as determined via email addresses, profile pictures, etc.), whom it follows and retweets, and how other accounts mute, follow, block, or retweet it.
Fox News reports that two days ago on Monday, March 18, Nunes filed a report in Virginia state court accusing Twitter of unfair and biased censorship of conservatives. Fox News reports:
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.”
“Twitter is a machine,” Nunes’ personal attorney, Steven S. Biss, told Fox News. “It is a modern-day Tammany Hall. Congressman Nunes intends to hold Twitter fully accountable for its abusive behavior and misconduct.”
“Twitter created and developed the content at issue in this case by transforming false accusations of criminal conduct, imputed wrongdoing, dishonesty and lack of integrity into a publicly available commodity used by unscrupulous political operatives and their donor/clients as a weapon,” Nunes’ legal team wrote. “Twitter is ‘responsible’ for the development of offensive content on its platform because it in some way specifically encourages development of what is offensive about the content.”
Representative Nunes is seeking $250 million from Twitter in
compensatory damages and $350,000 in punitive damages.