A judge rejected Rep. Devin Nunes’ lawsuit against Twitter over statements made by parody accounts and a Republican strategist, The Fresno Bee reports.
Judge John Marshall ruled that Twitter was “immune from the defamation claims” made by Nunes under federal law that shields social networks from liability for what users post on their platforms.
Nunes “seeks to have the court treat Twitter as the publisher or speaker of the content provided by others based on its allowing or not allowing certain content to be on its internet platform,” Marshall wrote. “The court refuses to do so.”
Nunes sued over “Devin Nunes’ Cow”:
Nunes filed a lawsuit against Twitter, the parody accounts “Devin Nunes’ Cow” and “Devin Nunes’ Mom,” and Republican strategist Liz Mair last year.
Nunes alleged that Mair defamed him and hurt his margin of victory in his 2018 reelection race.
He also accused Twitter of being negligent for allowing the alleged defamation.
Twitter lawyers argued that the federal law, known as Section 230, protects social media companies from liability.
Judge Marshall said that the law had already been settled.
Case not dismissed:
Marshall’s decision removes Twitter as a defendant but did not dismiss the lawsuit, allowing the case against the parody accounts to move forward.
But Nunes had hoped he could pressure Twitter into revealing the identity of those behind the parody accounts.
Twitter said it had no intention of doing so.
Mair called Nunes’ lawsuit “an assault on the First Amendment and the core American principle of free speech.”
“Rep. Nunes took an oath to support and defend the Constitution — all of it and not just the bits he likes — and I hope he will take the opportunity to reflect on that fact again today and proceed accordingly,” she said.