Claim That Twitter, Other Tech Giants Censor Conservative Views Dismissed By Appeals Courtby Nicholas Reimann
A federal appeals court has rejected a lawsuit that claimed Twitter, Facebook, Google and Apple conspire to suppress conservative viewpoints, as President Donald Trump has engaged in a war of words against Twitter after it tagged two of his tweets with links to fact checks.
In a four-page ruling dated Wednesday, the three-member U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld a lower court’s ruling denying the claims made in the suit, which argued the tech companies violate the First Amendment by conspiring against conservative viewpoints.
The claim was brought by the right-wing online publication Freedom Watch and conspiracy theorist Laura Loomer.
The lawsuit, filed in 2018, claimed that the tech giants conspired to bring a “complete halt” to Freedom Watch’s growth and led to Loomer being banned from social media platforms.
But in their ruling, the judges dismissed the claim that the tech companies violated their First Amendment rights, noting that the suit didn’t show how those rights could have been violated since the First Amendment only protects against governmental infringement on speech.
The court also rejected claims that the companies violated the Sherman Antitrust Act—which outlaws monopolistic business practices—as well as the District of Columbia Human Rights Act.
Trump’s feud with Silicon Valley has ratcheted up over the past days after Twitter TWTR for the first time ever fact-checked two of the president’s tweets, providing a link to refute his claims.
Trump reacted strongly in an early morning tweet Wednesday, saying—on Twitter—that the government may need to “strongly regulate” social media platforms or even “close them down.”
“Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservative voices,” the president tweeted Wednesday.
A recent report by NBC News claims that at least one tech giant has actually changed its internal structure to avoid offending conservatives.
Citing several current and former employees, NBC News said that Google GOOGL has gutted its diversity and inclusion programs over the past few years, in an effort not to seem anti-conservative.
Appeals court rejects claims that Facebook, Twitter suppress conservative views (The Hill)
Twitter Fact-Checks President Trump For The First Time (Forbes)
‘Close Them Down’: Trump Threatens To Shut Down Social Media Platforms (Forbes)