As the country grapples with a never-ending pandemic and nationwide protests against police brutality, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) is using his time and energy in a legal battle to expose the true identity of @DevinCow, a satirical Twitter account that pretends to be a cow belonging to Nunes and continually mocks him. However, his attorney revealed to The Fresno Bee on Friday that Nunes’ efforts are going nowhere.
As noted by reporter Kate Irby, “Nunes, R-Tulare, filed a lawsuit against Twitter last year alleging he was defamed on Twitter by Republican political strategist Liz Mair and the writers behind anonymous social media accounts that call themselves ‘Devin Nunes’ Cow’ and ‘Devin Nunes’ Mom.’”
According to The Bee, “Nunes’ attorney and lawyers for Twitter were in court on the social media company’s motion to dismiss the case. The San Francisco-based company argues it is protected from lawsuits like Nunes’ under a federal law that says social media companies like Twitter are not liable for what people post on their platforms if they don’t have a hand in creating the content.”
“Nunes’ attorney Steven Biss said that Twitter should not qualify for immunity under the law, known as Section 230, contending it treats Nunes unfairly,” said the report. “‘They’re doing more than allowing Liz Mair, the cow and the mom to post a tweet,’ Biss said. ‘They’re censoring, they’re promoting an anti-Nunes agenda, they’re banning conservative accounts and they’re knowingly encouraging it.’”
The report noted that “Judge John Marshall did not issue a ruling on Twitter’s motion. He raised pointed questions about Nunes’ arguments, citing the federal law that broadly protects social media companies from defamation lawsuits.”
“Even if Twitter had done what Nunes alleged, the immunity provided by Section 230 does not depend on whether Twitter is a neutral site, Marshall said, according to the report. ‘I don’t know of any requirement in the law that says these sites have to be neutral,’ Marshall said. ‘Just because you don’t like it and asked to have them take it down, doesn’t mean they’re liable if they don’t take it down.’”