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GOP lawmaker sues Twitter for $250 million

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 19, 2019 - Duration: 02:01s

GOP lawmaker sues Twitter for $250 million

Republican Devin Nunes is suing Twitter and several Twitter users, claiming the site unfairly censored his tweets and subjected him to hateful messages.

Zachary Goelman reports.

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GOP lawmaker sues Twitter for $250 million

A Republican lawmaker is suing Twitter for $250 million alleging defamation and claiming he is the victim of hundreds of hateful tweets.

Devin Nunes of California is also singling out a Republican communications consultant and two anonymous parody accounts, Devin Nunes' Mom and Devin Nunes' Cow.

Nunes is a close ally of President Donald Trump, and for two years chaired the powerful the House Intelligence Committee.

Critics said he used his position to undermine investigations into Trump's alleged ties to Russia.

Nunes claims he was defamed by tweets that called him "the most despicably craven GOP public official," an "unscrupulous, craven, back-stabbing, charlatan and traitor," and "was voted "Most Likely to Commit Treason" in high school." One of the Tweets included in the lawsuit from the now-suspended Devin Nunes Mom account reads, "Are you trying to obstruct a federal investigation again?

You come home right this instant or no more Minecraft!" The lawsuit against Twitter states, "Many of the tweets were vile and repulsive, including tweets that depicted Nunes engaged in sexual acts with the President." The filing includes this illustrated diagram, which Reuters has blurred.

Nunes also accuses Twitter of "shadow-banning" his Twitter account, claiming "Twitter actively censors and shadow-bans conservatives, such as Plaintiff, thereby eliminating his voice while amplifying the voices of his Democratic detractors." It's a common claim among conservatives.

At a Senate hearing last September, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey denied the site had any partisan filters.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) TWITTER CEO JACK DORSEY, SAYING:"Looking at the data, we analyzed tweets sent by all members of the House and Senate, and found no statistically significant difference between the number of times a tweet by a Democrat is viewed, versus a Republican even after all of our ranking and filtering of tweets has been applied." Twitter did not respond to a request for comment.

But users on the site were quick to continue the parody efforts.

New accounts named Devin Nunes' Other Mom, Devin Nunes' Cow's Mom, and, of course, Devin Nunes's Lawsuit have already cropped up.

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