Twitter will be asked to clarify if its either a “state actor” or a truly private corporation by a federal judge in Massachusetts which may result in a huge impact on Big Tech’s suppression of conservative viewpoints.
Dr Shiva Ayyadurai, the man who invented email, accused voters of voter fraud on Twitter in the US Senate in Massachusetts and stands as a Republican. The far-left tech giant then deleted these tweets. They were later discovered to have been removed at the behest of Massachusetts Secretary of State’s office employees.
He filed a federal lawsuit by himself, alleging that his federal civil rights were violated when the government silenced his political speech to affect an election.
Federal Judge Mark L. Wolf, a 1985 Reagan Appointee, has set a hearing on pending motions for May 20, 2021, at 9:30 AM EST. His court orders make it quite clear he is taking this case seriously and the court is highlighting several relevant cases that should give Twitter and its Big Tech bully buddies some pause.
By quoting these two cases, legal observers note, the judge is signalling that Twitter’s days of claiming it is a private company to avoid it’s clear oppression of conservative speech, banning scores of conservative journalists, and promotion of liberal views, may be coming to a close end:
“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”
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.
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.”