Suspended Twitter User Loses Lawsuit Over Data Access–Thomas v. Twitter

Twitter suspended the plaintiff’s Twitter account @Zay_Cipher. He wanted access to his content, so he requested an account download. However, he says the download links provided by Twitter were “defective,” so he sued Twitter pro se.

Conversion. “Plaintiff’s simple act of tweeting does not create any ‘thing’ on which to base his conversion claim.”

Good Faith and Fair Dealing. Twitter’s TOS terms “clearly disclaim any responsibility for Twitter’s failure to store or transmit content.”

Misappropriation of Ideas/Unjust Enrichment. “Plaintiff presents no facts evidencing Twitter’s actual use of [plaintiff’s ideas] or any money made from such use.”

Section 230. Even if the plaintiff established a prima facie case, the claims likely would be preempted by Section 230 because he’s suing over content that Twitter didn’t originate.

ICS provider: “message boards and social media sites qualify as ‘interactive computer services.’”
Third party content: Plaintiff “is responsible for the creation of his tweets, which were circulated via Twitter.” Cite to Mezey v. Twitter.
Publisher/Speaker claims. Section 230 applies to “all actions arising from Twitter’s alteration or removal of Plaintiff’s content….Twitter’s CDA immunity strikes at the heart of Plaintiff’s grievances with Twitter.”

Whether this lawsuit is only about the account suspension or also includes the loss of data access, it winds up as another failed lawsuit over account terminations and content removals.

Case Citation: Thomas v. Twitter Corporate Office, 2023 WL 8452200 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 6, 2023)

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