On June 2nd, the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s executive order that authorizes federal agencies to review Section 230, a law that protects social media companies from lawsuits over the content published on their sites.
The D.C. Circuit refused to revive a lawsuit filed by the conservative blogger Laura Loomer against Twitter, Facebook, Apple, and Google for allegedly conspiring to censor conservative views.
On May 28th, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that aims to roll back legal protections for social media platforms. His order was immediately met with withering criticism from First Amendment experts.
Among those suspended include InfoWars personality Owen Shroyer, who had recently used Twitter to promote a rally in Austin, Texas against the state’s stay-at-home order. Shroyer has used his accounts to discredit reports that hospitals are overwhelmed by coronavirus patients, though his account was not removed for this reason.
"The critical question in this case is not the nature of the Account when it was set up a decade ago. The critical question for First Amendment purposes is how the President uses the Account in his capacity as President," Judge Barrington Parker wrote.
In a new amicus brief, Public Citizen and the American Civil Liberties Union argue that Nunes cannot legally pursue the identity of the anonymous speaker without first proving he has a valid defamation claim. Without meeting this legal standard, they write, the court could threaten people's First Amendment right to anonymous speech.
On December 6th, a jury in Los Angeles found that Tesla and Space X CEO Elon Musk had not defamed a British cave explorer when Musk called him a “pedo guy” on Twitter. Vernon Unsworth sued Musk in July 2018 after the two publicly disagreed about the rescue attempts for a soccer team who was trapped in a cave system in Thailand.
On November 20th, Google announced that the company will restrict how precisely political ads can target users on its search engine and on YouTube. Political ads can still be delivered according to gender, age, and location, as well according to the content of the website users visit. However, the new policy states that ads can’t be directed to users based on the public voter record or their political affiliations.