Trump's Lawsuit Against Twitter Dismissed.

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Fnord
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06 May 2022, 9:48 pm

Federal Judge Dismisses Trump's Twitter Lawsuit.

In a 17-page order handed down Friday (2022-05-06), U.S. District Judge James Donato upheld Twitter's decision in January 2021 to kick the former president off its service to prevent him from further inciting his supporters to violently oppose the results of the 2020 election.  Twitter thus has no obligation to allow Trump back on the platform.

1) Trump's main claim is that Twitter had censored his Twitter accounts in violation of hi right to free speech under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.  Trump did not start from a position of strength, because the First Amendment applies only to governmental abridgements of speech, and not to alleged abridgements by private companies.  Twitter is a private company.

2) In his lawsuit, Trump claimed to have examples of Democrat legislators threatening new regulations, antitrust breakup, and removal of Section 230 immunity for Defendants and other social media platforms if Twitter did not censor views and content with which these Members of Congress disagreed.  However, the actual quotes do not live up to that billing.

3) Trump's attempt to hold Twitter responsible for allegedly violating the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act was also dismissed.  Although Trump lives in Florida, he agreed long ago, pursuant to the Twitter Terms of Service (TOS), that California law will govern all disputes that arise between Twitter and its users, there is no reasonable doubt that California has a substantial relationship to this case, thanks to Twitter's principal place of business being San Francisco.

Although this is enough to dismiss the third claim, some additional observations are useful: (a) The TOS expressly states that Twitter may suspend or terminate an account at any time for any or no reason.  It also states that (b) Twitter may remove or refuse to distribute any content. There is nothing cagey or misleading about these provisions, and Trump's suggestion that Twitter may have applied them inconsistently or at the government's behest does not change that.

4) A fourth claim, under Florida's so-called Stop Social Media Censorship Act, was also dismissed because Trump's Twitter account had already been shut down by the time the law came into effect in July 2021. Notwithstanding the fact that a federal judge prohibited Florida from enforcing the statute, a move the state is currently appealing, consequently, it is unclear what plaintiffs allege to be the potential application of the statute to their case.


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Matrix Glitch
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06 May 2022, 10:00 pm

Have to wonder how much if any of that would have transpired if Elon Musk had taken control of Twitter beforehand.



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06 May 2022, 10:04 pm

I have to wonder why Musk's actions would even be considered relevant to this case.  Besides, Trump seems to be so butt-hurt over his "banishment" that he refuses to re-join Twitter, even if invited by Musk.



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06 May 2022, 11:25 pm

Okey dokey.