AR Staff, American Renaissance, June 15, 2018
Yesterday, California Superior Court Judge Harold E. Kahn rejected Twitter’s petition to dismiss the suit Jared Taylor brought against Twitter for banning his Twitter account and that of his organization, American Renaissance. The judge also rejected Twitter’s motion under California’s Anti-SLAPP law to strike the complaint, adding that it was “hard to imagine a clearer public interest lawsuit.”
Judge Kahn described Taylor’s complaint as “very eloquent,” adding that “it goes to the heart of free speech principles that long precede our constitution.”
Judge Kahn recognized Taylor’s claim under California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL) that Twitter could be, in effect, guilty of false advertising by holding itself out as a public forum for free speech while reserving the right to ban the expression of ideas with which it disagrees. Judge Kahn also recognized Taylor’s claim under the UCL that Twitter’s terms of service — according to which it claims the right to ban any user any time for any reason — may well be “unconscionable,” and a violation of the law.
In oral argument, Judge Kahn asked: “Twitter can discriminate on the basis of religion, or gender, or sexual preference, or physical disability, or mental disability?” Counsel for Twitter conceded that it claimed that right — even though it would never exercise it. Judge Kahn denied that Twitter has such a right.
This is the first time censorship by a social media platform — an increasingly widespread practice seen by many as discrimination against conservative viewpoints — has been found actionable under state or federal law. This finding could have far-reaching consequences for other internet platforms that have become essential vehicles for the expression of ideas but that silence voices with which they disagree.
Twitter now has 30 days to answer Taylor’s claims.
Jared Taylor and American Renaissance are represented by Washington, D.C., attorney Noah Peters (email@example.com), Michigan State University law professor Adam Candeub (firstname.lastname@example.org), and prominent free speech advocate Marc Randazza (702-420-2001)
American Renaissance is very grateful to its readers and supporters who have helped fund the suit thus far. This case is long from over. We still need your help. Please click here to make a tax-deductible contribution in support of Taylor v. Twitter. Be sure to leave a comment indicating your donation is for the lawsuit.