California Rep. Devin Nunes has filed a major lawsuit and is seeking $250 million in compensatory damages along with $350,00 in punitive damages against Twitter. On Monday he accused the site of "shadow-banning conservatives" which means they are secretly hiding their posts. They also accused them of censoring viewpoints they don't agree with and "ignoring" lawful complains of abusive behavior.
The complain was filed on Monday in Virginia state court. The report claims that Twitter was working to derail his work on the House Intelligence Committee. He was the chariman of htis committe until 2019. Nunes said that Twitter was guilty 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."
Devin Nunes, a Republican from California, has sued Twitter and 3 users for defamation, claiming the users smeared him and the platform allowed it to happen because of a political agenda https://t.co/oWEuuABPoS
— The New York Times (@nytimes) March 19, 2019
More on the story from Fox News:
The lawsuit alleged defamation, conspiracy and negligence, as well as violations of the state's prohibition against "insulting words" -- effectively fighting words that tend towards "violence and breach of the peace." The complaint sought not only damages, but also an injunction compelling Twitter to turn over the identities behind numerous accounts he said harassed and defamed him.
“Twitter is a machine," Nunes' personal attorney, Steven S. Biss, told Fox News. "It is a modern-day Tammany Hall. Congressman Nunes intends to hold Twitter fully accountable for its abusive behavior and misconduct.”
Although federal law ordinarily exempts services like Twitter from defamation liability at all levels, Nunes' suit said the platform has taken such an active role in curating and banning content -- as opposed to merely hosting it -- that it should face liability like any other organization that defames.
"Twitter created and developed the content at issue in this case by transforming false accusations of criminal conduct, imputed wrongdoing, dishonesty and lack of integrity into a publicly available commodity used by unscrupulous political operatives and their donor/clients as a weapon," Nunes' legal team wrote. "Twitter is 'responsible' for the development of offensive content on its platform because it in some way specifically encourages development of what is offensive about the content."
The lawsuit is separate from Nunes' work on the House Intelligence Committee, where he is now the ranking member.
Conservatives had a long going battle against social media platforms. From Mark Zuckerberg to Twitter, conservatives argue that they are having a much tougher time getting their opinions out than their counterparts on the left.