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U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes sues Twitter, users for $250M

U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes sues Twitter, users for $250M

"The Twitter attacks on Nunes were pre-planned, calculated, orchestrated and undertaken by multiple individuals acting in concert, over a continuous period of time exceeding a year", the complaint, made public ahead of being filed, stated. According to the complaint, "Twitter did nothing to investigate or review the defamation that appeared in plain view on its platform" and has "consciously allowed the defamation of Nunes to continue".

Typically, social media sites would be exempt from defamation liability, but Nunes' lawyers are arguing that Twitter monetized and knowingly allowed the offensive content to remain on the site, and is therefore complicit in Nunes' defamation.

"The Republican Congressman from California is claiming Twitter and "a handful of its users", according to Fox News, have been "'shadow-banning conservatives" including himself to influence the 2018 elections, explicitly and systematically censoring opposing viewpoints and "ignoring' lawful complaints of repeated abusive behavior.

"Twitter is not a neutral platform such as an Internet bulletin board".

Twitter declined to comment on the suit to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

The abusive content published by the named Twitter accounts includes impersonating Nunes' mother, and repeatedly publishing content that was hateful, false, vile, depicting Nunes as involved in sexual acts and damaging to his reputation.

"Twitter is an information content provider", the complaint reads. "They're the main proliferator, and they spread this fake news and this slanderous news".

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Nunes alleges that Twitter users posted defamatory statements about him during the 2018 Congressional election.

Twitter hasn't commented on the lawsuit.

Nunes' complaint says the user called "Davin Nunes' Mom", used his name, falsely impersonated his mother, and created the account exclusively to defame him "with Twitter's consent". Mr Nunes has said that these allegations are false.

Of the Devin's Cow account, the lawsuit alleges the author unfairly dubbed the congressman "a treasonout cowpoke", and falsely claimed that "Devin's boots are full of manure".

The case will be heard in the Virginia state court, where the Circuit Court for Henrico county will preside and (among other things) rule on whether or not it was defamatory to claim Nunes has "herp-face". Shadow banning is the practice of making a post visible only to the person who created it.

Testifying before Congress in September, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey reiterated that Twitter doesn't make decisions based on "political ideology", adding that it wouldn't make business sense for Twitter to dump large groups of Republicans, and calling the platform a new-age "public square" where nearly anything should be allowed to be said.