Google and Twitter Defeat Lawsuit Over Account Suspensions/Terminations–DeLima v. Google

Natasha DeLima (a/k/a “Natasha Athens”) claims that Google and Twitter have imposed various sanctions on her accounts, including suspension and termination. She alleges that Google and Twitter took these actions due to political bias against her. (This article notes some of DeLima’s “political” views–Trump, QAnon, “prominent Jewish families,” and Justice Robert’s alleged pedophilia all appear in the article). DeLima previously unsuccessfully sued Google. She tried again (pro se, naturally) with the same outcome:

Civil Rights Claims. “Defendants are private companies and not state actors, and thus cannot be held liable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, absent factual allegations that could lead to a finding of state action.”

First Amendment. DeLima “acknowledges that Defendants are private companies and not government entities, which is fatal to her claim.”

Defamation. “The act of a service provider disconnecting a social media account or domain name, or moderating or deleting content on these accounts, is not a ‘statement’ for purposes of defamation law.” Section 230 also applies “to the extent DeLima is arguing that Defendants should be held responsible for allegedly defamatory content posted by a third party on one of her domains.”

Copyright. A “violation of ‘fair use laws’ [is not] a viable claim.”

Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress (IIED). “private publisher content, such as moderating content, removing content, and choosing advertisers and advertisements for their platforms” isn’t outrageous conduct.

Case citation: DeLima v. Google, Inc., 2021 WL 294560 (D.N.H. Jan. 28, 2021)

Bonus: Rutenberg v. Twitter, 4:21-cv-00548-YGR (N.D. Cal. Jan. 28, 2021): “A fundamental flaw in Rutenburg’s entire case is that the claimed rights under the 1st Amendment (and the corollary claims under the 14th Amendment) cannot be enforced against a private entity such as defendant Twitter.” The complaint in that case (remarkably, a lawyer is handling that case).

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