Another Account Suspension Case Yeeted–Rangel v. Dorsey
Rangel has the Twitter alias “religiouserpico”:
Twitter suspended him after he tweeted “HANG THEM ALL” (did God approve that???). He sued pro se. The court yeets his lawsuit.
Claim Against Jack Dorsey. “Out of millions of Twitter accounts, it is implausible that Dorsey took specific action against Rangel.”
- ICS Provider. “Twitter clearly is a ‘provider . . . of an interactive computer service’ under the CDA.” Cites to Dyroff and Brittain v. Twitter.
- Third-Party Content. The lawsuit relates to “information that he, rather than Twitter, provided. Rangel mistakenly believes that he himself cannot be a third-party information provider under this provision, but this view has been repeatedly rejected.” Cite to Ebeid v. Facebook.
- Publisher/Speaker Claims. “his claims derive entirely from Twitter’s decision to exclude his content and suspend his account—that is, traditional publishing functions.” Cites to Roommates.com and Barnes v. Yahoo. This covers the breach of contract claim too. Cite to King v. Facebook.
Prima Facie Case. The court says Rangel would lose even without reference to Section 230.
- Contract breach. The court says it’s reasonable for Twitter to have suspended Rangel for violating its abusive content policy.
- The stockholder fraud claim fails because he didn’t allege that he purchased Twitter stock.
- The UETA claim fails because it’s irrelevant to the suit and doesn’t create a PRA. Still, I swoon a little every time UETA shows up in a court opinion.
His state action claim was rejected a couple of years ago.
This is yet another addition to the massive stack of failed cases over account terminations/content removals. See the dataset from last year.
Case citation: Rangel v. Dorsey, 2022 WL 2820107 (N.D. Cal. July 19, 2022). The initial complaint. Techdirt’s coverage.