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Twitter Defeats Account Suspension Case–Craft v. Musk

Are sheeple a resource in Settlers of Catan?

The opinion summarizes the allegations:

Defendants Twitter, Inc. and its CEO, Elon Musk, violated his First Amendment rights by blocking his Twitter account twice, for a period of seven days each, in February and March 2023. According to Plaintiff, he “didn’t threaten anybody’s lives or call for mass destruction of any kind on [his] Twitter post” but was simply “trying to wake up the sheeple that cannot see the destruction that Elon musk, the world economic forum, world health organization, center for disease control, social media, news, and corrupt government are creating for our once ‘civilized’ society.”

I’m surprised the plaintiff didn’t mention the devastation caused by the woke mind virus, but I’m probably one of the sheeples he’s concerned about. The summary continues:

Plaintiff seeks $5 billion in damages and asks the Court to seize “all assets of Elon Musk and the Twitter platform … until the outcome of this complaint.”

Musk’s assets keep shrinking by the minute, so the plaintiff better hurry up.

In the complaint, the plaintiff added: “My personal voice freedom of speech and freedom to protest have been silenced by Elon musk and his platform. My voice, and freedom has been taken from me.” I wonder if the plaintiff knows that Musk is a self-styled free speech absolutist who would never do such a thing?

As usual, the First Amendment claim goes nowhere. “Action temporarily blocking Plaintiff’s account by Twitter, which is a private company, and its CEO, Elon Musk, is not government action.” Cite to Berenson v. Twitter.

None of the exceptions to the general rule apply here:

no allegations that “Twitter or Musk’s actions involved the exercise of any power exclusively reserved to the state”
no allegations that “Twitter or Musk conspired in any way with the state or its agents”
no allegations of government coercion or encouragement
no allegations of government nexus

Even if the state action claim was tenable, the court says Section 230(c)(2)(A) would protect Twitter. ‘Plaintiff would need to allege facts that raise a plausible inference that in blocking his account, Twitter did not act in good faith.” This raises the complicated question of if/when government actors can invoke Section 230(c)(2)(A). If they are required to follow the First Amendment, then Congress cannot override those constitutional obligations by statute. No matter, though, because there is no chance of the plaintiff making the state action arguments stick.

For a roundup of failed account termination and content removal cases, see this article.

Case citation: Craft v. Musk, 2023 WL 2918739 (N.D. Cal. April 12, 2023). The complaint. Great line from the complaint: “We can let this be a lesson to all the billionaires across the world.” A reminder that Craft asked for $5B in damages, so he wants to join the club that needs to be taught a lesson…?

Bonus: the plaintiff’s name “Christopher Craft” made me think of:

this case
this singer
and these singers

Selected Posts About State Action Claims

Government Submissions to a Trusted Flagger Program Aren’t Unconstitutional Jawboning–O’Handley v. Weber
Facebook Defeats Lawsuit Over Account Suspension for a Voting Misinformation “Joke”–Hall v. Meta
Prager’s Lawsuit Over Biased Content Moderation Decisively Fails Again (This Time, in State Court)–Prager v. YouTube
The 5th Circuit Puts the 1st Amendment in a Blender & Whips Up a Terrible #MAGA Kool-Aid–NetChoice v. Paxton
Facebook Defeats Jawboning Lawsuit Over COVID Misinformation Removal–Rogalinski v. Meta
Another Account Suspension Case Yeeted–Rangel v. Dorsey
Another Failed Lawsuit Over Trump’s Deplatforming–Rutenberg v. Twitter
COVID Skeptic Loses Lawsuit Over Account Terminations–Hart v. Facebook
Twitter Defeats Trump’s Deplatforming Lawsuit–Trump v. Twitter
Account Suspension Lawsuit Against Twitter Survives Motion to Dismiss–Berenson v. Twitter
Another Failed Lawsuit Over Facebook’s Content Removals–Brock v. Zuckerberg
Section 230 Survives Yet Another Constitutional Challenge–Huber v. Biden
Another Court Says Facebook Isn’t a State Actor–McWaters v. Houston
Another Anti-Vaxxer Jawboning Lawsuit Fails–ICAN v. YouTube
The First Amendment Protects Twitter’s Fact-Checking and Account Suspension Decisions–O’Handley v. Padilla
One More Time: Facebook Isn’t a State Actor–Atkinson v. Facebook
Two More Courts Tell Litigants That Social Media Services Aren’t State Actors
Government Jawboning Doesn’t Turn Internet Services into State Actors–Doe v. Google
Anti-Zionist Loses Lawsuit Over Social Media Account Suspensions–Martillo v. Facebook
Court Nopes Another Lawsuit Over Facebook Suspensions–Orders v. Facebook
Facebook Defeats Lawsuit By Publishers of Vaccine (Mis?)information–Children’s Health Defense v. Facebook
Court Rejects Lawsuit Alleging YouTube Engaged in Racially Biased Content Moderation–Newman v. Google
Yet Another Court Says Facebook Isn’t a State Actor–Brock v. Zuckerberg
YouTube (Again) Defeats Lawsuit Over Content Removal–Lewis v. Google
When It Came to @RealDonaldTrump, Twitter Couldn’t Please Everyone–Rutenberg v. Twitter
Another Must-Carry Lawsuit Against YouTube Fails–Daniels v Alphabet
Newspaper Isn’t State Actor–Plotkin v. Astorian
An Account Suspension Case Fails Again–Perez v. LinkedIn
Are Social Media Services “State Actors” or “Common Carriers”?
Google and Twitter Defeat Lawsuit Over Account Suspensions/Terminations–DeLima v. Google
More Plaintiffs (and Lawyers) Need To Be Reminded That YouTube Isn’t a State Actor–Divino v. Google
Facebook Isn’t a Constructive Public Trust–Cameron Atkinson v. Facebook
Google and YouTube Aren’t “Censoring” Breitbart Comments–Belknap v. Alphabet
LinkedIn Isn’t a State Actor–Perez v. LinkedIn
Section 230 Preempts Another Facebook Account Termination Case–Zimmerman v. Facebook
Section 230 Ends Demonetized YouTuber’s Lawsuit–Lewis v. Google
Court Rejects Another Lawsuit Alleging that Internet Companies Suppress Conservative Views–Freedom Watch v. Google
Another Suspended Twitter User Loses in Court–Wilson v. Twitter
First Voters Reject Tulsi Gabbard, Then a Judge Does–Gabbard v. Google
YouTube Isn’t a State Actor (DUH)–PragerU v. Google
Facebook Still Isn’t Obligated to Publish Russian Troll Content–FAN v. Facebook
Vimeo Defeats Lawsuit for Terminating Account That Posted Conversion Therapy Videos–Domen v. Vimeo
Russia Fucked With American Democracy, But It Can’t Fuck With Section 230–Federal Agency of News v. Facebook
Private Publishers Aren’t State Actors–Manhattan Community Access v. Halleck
Your Periodic Reminder That Facebook Isn’t a State Actor–Williby v. Zuckerberg
Section 230 Protects Facebook’s Account and Content Restriction Decisions–Ebeid v. Facebook
Court Tosses Antitrust Claims That Internet Giants Are Biased Against Conservatives–Freedom Watch v. Google
Twitter Isn’t a Shopping Mall for First Amendment Purposes (Duh)–Johnson v. Twitter
YouTube Isn’t a Company Town (Duh)–Prager University v. Google
Facebook Defeats Lawsuit By User Suspended Over ‘Bowling Green Massacre’–Shulman v. Facebook
Yelp, Twitter and Facebook Aren’t State Actors–Quigley v. Yelp
Facebook Not Liable for Account Termination–Young v. Facebook
Online Game Network Isn’t Company Town–Estavillo v. Sony
Third Circuit Says Google Isn’t State Actor–Jayne v. Google Founders
Ask.com Not Liable for Search Results or Indexing Decisions–Murawski v. Pataki
Search Engines Defeat “Must-Carry” Lawsuit–Langdon v. Google
KinderStart Lawsuit Dismissed (With Leave to Amend)
ICANN Not a State Actor

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