Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) went on Fox News on Monday evening just after filing a lawsuit against Twitter and a few individual users — for, essentially, trolling him — to complain that he’s been targeted online and to perpetuate a conspiracy theory among conservatives that social media platforms are out to censor right-wing folks.
Nunes told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that his $250 million suit is the “first of many.” The former chair of the House Intelligence Committee said he was going after Twitter first because the social media website is the “main proliferator” in spreading “slanderous news.”
“The case we’re basically making is this was an orchestrated effort,” he said, after directing viewers to Fox News’ website to read the suit. “So people were targeting me, there (were) anonymous accounts that were developed. Look, there are not supposed to be — these accounts aren’t supposed to exist. Twitter says they don’t have accounts that do this.”
He went on to suggest that his personal cyberbullies was comparable to the Russian trolls who interfered with the 2016 election.
“But there were several fake news accounts, whether its regards to the Russian investigation or to me, and we have to hold all of these people accountable. Because if we don’t, our First Amendment rights are at stake here,” he said, bemoaning that Twitter allegedly “shadow-banned” him last summer.
“This isn’t 20 years ago, Sean. What’s happening is that Twitter becomes the gas lighting for all the news,” he continued. “When they are regulating us, they’re regulating what people can see on my tweets, which they have done, and they are proliferating out things that they agree with with the algorithms that they develop, they need to come clean.”
Twitter told CBNS News that it would not be commenting on this new lawsuit, but pointed to what the company has “said previously and repeatedly”: that it doesn’t “shadow ban” users.
One of the users named personally in the suit, Liz Mair, a Republican communications operative, is declining to the comment on the lawsuit. When reached via email on Tuesday, Mair had an automatic reply that lamented she has been “inundated with emails” and pointed reporters to her legal defense fundraising site: the Swamp Accountability Project.
“I have yet to fully review the legal documentation in question and am therefore declining comment,” her auto-reply says.
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) March 19, 2019