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June 24, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – As the conservative movement continues to struggle with how to address censorship and political bias from the world’s top communication platforms, the conservative legal nonprofit Center for American Liberty (CAL) filed a new lawsuit taking a novel approach to Twitter’s activities in California.
At issue is the social network’s permanent suspension of conservative attorney and political commentator Rogan O’Handley, allegedly for spreading “misinformation” about the 2020 presidential election.
“From November 2020 to February 2021, Rogan tweeted a series of messages — calling for an audit of every California ballot, a commission to study the 2020 election results, and raising concern over voter fraud — only to be swiftly ‘flagged’ by leftist operatives working as an agent of the California Secretary of State (at the time, Alex Padilla) who in turn instructed Twitter to remove Rogan’s tweets,” CAL says. “But that is not the worst of it … In February 2021, Twitter permanently suspended Rogan altogether for tweeting, ‘Most votes in American history.’”
The group argues that this is no mere case of a private entity’s speech and property rights, as is so commonly claimed by defenders of Big Tech, for the simple fact that Twitter was acting at the direction of the California government.
“In 2018, the state government of California created the Office of Elections Cybersecurity to ‘educate voters’ with ‘valid information’ on election laws and procedures,” CAL explains. “And as any sensible person could predict, this office quickly devolved into a political weapon for censorship by the far-left Secretary of State’s Office, more resembling a Harry Potter like ‘Ministry of Approved Election Information’ than a constitutionally governed state agency.”
California Democrats have access to a rapid response team at Twitter, which takes down tweets at the request of Democrats. pic.twitter.com/czsJm9XBE7
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) June 18, 2021
In April, the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch obtained a trove of documents detailing numerous examples of state officials asking Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to censor content, including a Judicial Watch video detailing vulnerabilities in the election system such as voting by mail and ballot harvesting.
The increasing brazenness of Big Tech’s actions against conservative speech has elicited numerous calls from conservatives for government intervention, though ample disagreement persists on what form it should take.
Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed in May a new law imposing strict limits on social media platforms’ ability to censor political candidates and journalistic enterprises. Nationally, Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, has introduced legislation to impose new limits on tech platforms’ immunity from liability for third-party content. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, has endorsed reforming antitrust laws to limit Big Tech’s power, and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has suggested social media companies be regulated akin to “common carriers” of information such as phone companies.