Twitter’s practice of shadowbanning conservatives will face a courtroom for the first time next week, as Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) sues the company and several others in a lawsuit headed to a courtroom in Northern Virginia next Friday.
Shadowbanning, a practice common amongst Silicon Valley companies, greatly limits the visibility of a user’s posts — even hiding them from the user’s followers — without them having any notice that their account is limited.
Nunes, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, filed a lawsuit earlier this year against Twitter and against establishment GOP strategist Liz Mair, her company, and a pair of fake Twitter accounts that smear him regularly.
As Breitbart News reported back in March when Nunes filed the lawsuit:
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) has filed a major defamation lawsuit against Twitter and a handful of users that seeks $250 million in compensatory damages and $350,000 in punitive damages, according to a complaint filed in Virginia State Court on Monday.
The complaint, first reported by Fox News, cites Twitter’s practice of “shadow-banning” conservatives — including Nunes — in order to influence the 2018 elections, censorship of opposing viewpoints, and ignoring lawful complaints of repeated abusive behavior.
The 40-page complaint accuses Twitter 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.”
For example, one defendant — communications strategist Liz Mair — published tweets that implied that Nunes colluded with prostitutes and cocaine addicts, that Nunes does cocaine, and that Nunes was involved in a ‘Russian money laundering front.’”
The complaint also pointed to another Twitter account named “Devin Nunes’ Mom,” whom it said attacked, defamed, disparaged, and demeaned Nunes throughout the 2018 campaign.
“In her endless barrage of tweets, Devin Nunes’ Mom maliciously attacked every aspect of Nunes’ character, honesty, integrity, ethics and fitness to perform his duties as a United States Congressman,” the complaint said. It said the account was only suspended after Nunes’ actual mother complained to Twitter.
Nunes, per a source close to the congressman, is expected to appear in the courtroom in northern Virginia next Friday for the lawsuit. The first actions will take place next Friday, August 23, and Nunes is expected to be there in person in the courtroom, the source said.
The core argument in the lawsuit is that Twitter discriminates against conservatives by shutting down, suppressing, or shadowbanning conservative accounts, while allowing defamatory attacks from parody and other accounts ripping on Republicans and conservatives.
According to a report in Vice, Twitter had shadowbanned Nunes and other top conservatives. Twitter also has apparently banned a parody account mocking Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and blocked the personal account of the person who was running that parody account. But Twitter still allows several parody accounts mocking Nunes, such as one that says it is Nunes’ cow and another who says it is Nunes’ mom.
The Nunes cow parody Twitter account has tweeted out the court date.
Next court date is 8/23
— Devin Nunes’ cow 🐮 (@DevinCow) August 9, 2019
Mair, the Never Trump GOP operative also a defendant in Nunes’ lawsuit, has tweeted out asking for fundraising support in the lawsuit.
Here’s your friendly reminder that #DevinNunes #Nunes, somewhat in the spotlight today, is suing me for $400 million. If you’d like to help contribute to my legal defense and holding members of the Swamp accountable, you can do so here: https://t.co/zcYqrHn6OH
— Liz Mair (@LizMair) July 24, 2019
Mair infamously in 2015 was fired by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s presidential campaign after she bashed the people of Iowa and pushed amnesty for illegal aliens. Then, in 2016, while backing Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) for president as head of PAC, she ran incendiary ads of now First Lady Melania Trump.
On Mair’s LinkedIn page, she actually brags about spreading misinformation on behalf of anonymous clients.
“Since 2011, I and the firm more broadly have advised multiple Fortune 500, FTSE 100 and other publicly-traded corporate clients, as well as numerous large trade associations and prominent non-profits on communications in the US, the UK and the EU,” Mair describes herself on her LinkedIn page. “What do I do for these clients? Anonymously smear their opposition on the Internet. More broadly? Get sh*t done.”