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Alex Berenson, a former New York Times reporter and recurring guest on the Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, is fighting back against Twitter and the U.S. government after he was banned from the social media site in late August.
Berenson’s lawyers, in a federal suit filed this week against Twitter in the Northern District of California, argue that their client was banned soon after tweeting that COVID vaccines don’t “stop infection” or “transmission” of the virus and that it was true when it was tweeted and it remains true.
“This case raises significant questions about private power and the state of free speech in America,” Berenson’s lawyers state in a complaint filed this week in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. “Do our laws place any limitations on Twitter’s power to discriminate against speakers — even as it becomes the most important outlet for journalism worldwide, in part because its promises of unfettered free speech have attracted an audience of hundreds of millions of users?”
According to the court documents, Berenson argues that Twitter “acted on the behalf of the federal government in censoring and barring him from its platform.” His lawyers believe President Biden calling on censorship for alleged vaccine “disinformation” spreaders from social media platforms resulted in Berenson being a victim of Twitter’s ban.
“This lawsuit would be unnecessary if the company had simply followed its own oft–repeated core principles—as well as the general rules it created to monitor posts about COVID–19 and the specific promises it made to Mr. Berenson,” the lawsuit continues.
Berenson is asking the court for the following: reinstate his account; stop Twitter from violating his rights, and award him damages associate with the ban, including breach of contract; and “Disgorge Twitter of its ill-gotten gains attributable to his use of Twitter and any other award the court deems necessary.
It’ll be an uphill battle for Berenson’s legal team as the courts haven’t been friendly to First Amendment suits brought against Twitter. MediaPost reports that Donald Trump’s battle with Twitter is still alive, but the courts continue to rule for Big Tech.
“Trump’s cases against social media companies are still pending, but judges have recently thrown out numerous other “censorship” claims against tech platforms. In those matters, judges have repeatedly said that only the government — and not private corporations — are bound by the First Amendment’s prohibition on censorship,” MediaPost writes.
In the meantime, Berenson can be found on Substack. He’s even over there breaking down exactly what his lawsuit means and why it’s needed. Go read it.