Another Failed Lawsuit Over Facebook’s Content Removals–Brock v. Zuckerberg

Facebook allegedly removed 30+ of the plaintiff’s posts. The plaintiff sued Facebook for constitutional violations and other claims. The district court dismissed the lawsuit. The Second Circuit affirms.

State Action. Brock argued that Facebook is a state actor because it is a publicly held company. Nope. He also argued that Facebook is the equivalent of a public square or public forum. The court says that Brock didn’t provide supporting facts for this allegation.

Judicial Conflicts-of-Interest. The lower court judge’s wife owns Facebook stock, but the judge learned about it only after the ruling. How does that happen? This is a bad situation from a conflicts-of-interest standpoint, and it highlights the importance of instituting tighter controls on public employees (including Congressmembers) owning or trading individual stocks. Nevertheless, the Second Circuit says vacatur isn’t warranted because of “the obvious deficiencies in Brock’s pleadings.” In other words, this case was never close, and any impartial judge would have dismissed it too.

A reminder that Jess Miers and I summarized 60+ account termination and content removal cases in this article.

Case Citation: Brock v. Zuckerberg, 2022 WL 1231044 (2d Cir. April 27, 2022)

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