Think of all the adjectives you can think of to describe a court case taking place in Massachusetts. There is a huge, bombshell, massive, gargantuan, enormous, colossal, and gigantic. None of those words are big enough to describe what this lawsuit filed by Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai, the inventor of email could do to social media. I feel like I need to smoke a cigarette after the trial.
We are talking about a lawsuit that could put an end to censoring conservatives. No more article 230. Let me explain. Dr. Ayyadurai ran for the US Senate in Massachusetts as a Republican. he made accusations of voter fraud on Twitter and Twitter deleted all of those tweets.
This is something they get away with on a regular basis, but this time it’s different. Dr. Ayyadurai later discovered that his tweets were deleted at the request of employees in the Secretary of State’s office. This was done to affect the outcome of an election.
Federal Judge Mark L. Wolf, a 1985 Reagan Appointee is hearing the case and his remarks have to be chilling to the social media giants. he has ordered a hearing on May 20th at 9:30 AM (EST) at which time Twitter must explain whether they are a private company or if they are a “state actor.” The judge then brought up two examples that the plaintiff didn’t even mention.
Here are the two cases cited by the judge:
Manhattan Cmty. Access Corp. v. Halleck, 139 S. Ct. 1921, 1928 (2019)
“A private entity can qualify as a state actor in a few limited circumstances-including, for example, … when the government compels the private entity to take a particular action…”
Blum v. Yaretsky, 457 U.S. 991, 1004 (1982)
“a State normally can be held responsible for a private decision only when it has exercised coercive power or has provided such significant encouragement, either overt or covert, that the choice must in law be deemed to be that of the State”
Discovery in this case should be awesome. They should request all censored and banned sites for both conservatives and liberals. This would allow them to make the case that Twitter is biased against conservatives. If Twitter loses this case, they lose their Article 230 protection.
The hearing can be seen on your computer. just Google and find a platform that carries it in your location.
This case could spell the end of CDA 230.
CDA 230 is the provision of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 that gives internet and social media companies legal immunity from lawsuits due to the content they publish.
This provision in law gives companies like Facebook and Twitter a way to dismiss lawsuits, but it also gives them the ability to act with impunity so that their actions cannot be legally challenged. These companies have, according to their detractors, abused this immunity by suppressing dissident, and specifically conservative, views, viewpoints and journalism.
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Because Dr. Ayyadurai did not argue about Twitter’s “Terms of Service” everything will instead hinge on the degree of interaction between Twitter and the state government of Massachusetts.
And according to Dr. Ayyadurai, those links have already been proven in testimony, since Twitter has built a special portal offered to certain governmental entities so that government officials can flag and delete content they dislike for any reason, as part of what they call “Twitter Partner Status.”