White nationalist Jared Taylor and his organization American Renaissance are suing Twitter for permanently suspending their accounts, accusing the social media giant of “the silencing of dissident voices.”
The suit, filed Tuesday in California Superior Court’s San Francisco District, alleges that Twitter is engaging in viewpoint discrimination against the site for its racist views, in violation of the state constitution.
A spokesperson for Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Taylor and American Renaissance were banned in December 2017 as part of a crackdown by Twitter against users affiliated with hate groups “on and off the platform.” Those who made “specific threats of violence or wish for the serious physical harm, death, or disease of an individual or group of people” were banned, as were those whose profiles include “hateful imagery and display names.”
The move came in the wake of the deadly August white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, North Carolina, which was organized largely on Twitter and other social media platforms by users who bragged about committing violence. Taylor and his group are part of an older guard of suit-and-tie-wearing white nationalists who are careful to couch their views on the racial inferiority of blacks and desire for a white homeland in academic language.
Taylor has retained Las Vegas-based attorney Marc Randazza, who is known for his defense of other controversial clients like conspiracy peddler Mike Cernovich and trolls on the platform 8chan. Randazza is currently representing Andrew Anglin, publisher of neo-Nazi site Daily Stormer, in a federal lawsuit in which Anglin is accused of orchestrating an anti-Semitic harassment campaign against a Montana Jewish woman.
Michigan State University law professor Adam Candeub and Washington, DC attorney Noah Peters are also representing Taylor. In a Wednesday op-ed in the Daily Caller, Peters wrote that the suit “is not about whether Taylor is right or wrong” about race but about ensuring that all individuals, regardless of their views, have access to free speech.