Just before Trump allegedly accused the social media companies of being biased against conservatives, there was already an anti-conservative lawsuit filed last 2018 against Twitter, Facebook, Apple, and Google by non-profit Freedom Watch and YouTube personality, Laura Loomer.
In a ruling on Wednesday, the DC Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of the lawsuit filed by the Freedom Watch and Loomer. They rejected Freedom Watch’s claim the four tech companies violated the freedom of speech rights because the group failed to prove that the platforms can violate the First Amendment. “In general, the First Amendment ‘prohibits only governmental abridgment of speech,'” reads the judgment, quoting an earlier decision
The court also rejected allegations that these social media platforms engaged in anticompetitive behavior. The judgment states that “only anticompetitive conduct that Freedom Watch alleges (without supporting factual allegations) is that the platforms conspired against it to suppress conservative content, but not that the platforms conspired to acquire or maintain monopoly power.”
“The Plaintiffs do not show how the Platforms’ alleged conduct may fairly be treated as actions taken by the government itself,” the judge stated. “Facebook and Twitter, for example, are private businesses that do not become ‘state actors’ based solely on the provision of their social media networks to the public.”
The Freedom Watch hasn’t responded yet to this ruling, but it’s speculated that they will take it to the Supreme Court. Larry Klayman, a lawyer, believes that the court’s decision was issued in response to Trump’s threats to investigate social media sites over alleged bias against conservative views. On the other hand, Laura Loomer was banned by several platforms for anti-Muslim statements.
In general, the First Amendment “prohibits only governmental abridgment of speech”, the ruling pointed out.