, 26 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
How can victims of deplatforming fight back?

It's complicated.
Gavin McInnes was deplatformed largely, if not entirely, as a result of the efforts of an extremist left wing hate group called the SPLC. Early this year, we sued the SPLC - not the platforms - on his behalf.
This is the complaint (i.e., "the lawsuit")

SPLC made, as expected, a motion to dismiss the complaint. We responded with this: jdsupra.com/legalnews/gavi…

It's heavy stuff, but you can see how we have responded to the typical (and entirely predicted) arguments in a case like that.
Laura Loomer's deplatforming was accomplished largely by the urging of another hate group, CAIR, which is the US face of the terrorist group Hamas.

We sued CAIR on her behalf. You can read Laura's lawsuit at freeloomer.com
In Laura's case, we also sued Twitter, because we have very solid grounds - as the complaint explains - to allege that it was more than a (comparatively) passive actor in the process of her being shut down.

The defendants have not yet responded to that lawsuit.
Other plaintiffs will undoubtedly assert other kinds of claims, or variations on the ones we made on behalf of Laura and Gavin, and name other parties in future litigation. I am not going to weigh in here on claims brought by other lawyers, or ones I might still be working on.
None of these cases has been tested in court yet, but the process of finding the litigation approach to breaking through and achieving justice for people who have been damaged by deplatforming is under way on many fronts.
Each case has to be considered on its own merits, or lack of them. I have, unfortunately, had to tell a number of prospective plaintiffs, some of whose names you might now, that I did not see a way to make a claim for them under the law as I understand it.
The McInnes claim sounds primarily (not solely, however) in defamation. Laura's is more of a classic tortious interference case.

Whether to sue at all, the legal theories to pursue, the choice of defendants and the venue all need to be considered carefully.
Clients contemplating such claims, for their part, also need to pay a lot of attention to whom they should choose to represent them. Unfortunately, the choices are limited. Not too many people have the experience and skills to do this work, and among those who do, few will.
Even then, from the pool who can and will, plaintiffs need to choose the RIGHT guy or gal - same as in any case, of course. I do not pretend to be the right guy for everyone (nor am I open to representing everyone, even if his case is otherwise solid).
Money is another thing. It's a real thing, too.

But before we talk about that, a related point:

Everyone thinking about these cases, either as spectators or potential litigants, needs to understand the nature of the defendants. First off, and to my point, they're rich as hell.
Unlike most businesses, the major social media and payment platform corporations, or major left wing hate groups like SPLC and CAIR, will not be incentivized to change their behavior by fear of incurring legal fees. They're loaded and heavily supported by major institutions.
Also, they use lawsuits as opportunities for fundraising. Being sued is likely a net financial gain for them, at least in the short term.
Second, there is very little room for these outfits, unlike in most litigation contexts, to settle, especially if a case has a high profile. There are rare exceptions, but they don't tend to be seen with respect to the social media platforms. Once they compromise, it's over.
There are a lot of other factors that make these cases very difficult. One important one is the interplay of the mainstream media and the news and information power of search engines, which combine to make deplatformed plaintiffs the bad guys.
Google the names of the two clients I've mentioned above or search their names on Facebook and you'll agree that I am representing people who have quite justifiably been ousted from polite society, online and otherwise.

This has an effect on every step of the process.
I left my previous law firm because it wouldn't take the risk as being known as the firm that sued Google on behalf of "the Nazi Twitter" - which is how the social justice industrial complex spun Gab.ai.
It didn't matter that the widespread promulgation of this falsehood was exactly why Gab needed, and was entitled to, legal relief. The more invested in the system an institution is, the more vulnerable it is to this terrorism. Deplatforming is the perfect crime!
This media / social media / institutional bias against the victim of deplatforming is so powerful that their most prominent natural political and social media allies - meaning conservatives - are intimidated into expressing support for fear of being lumped in with the "Nazis."
That's why big-name conservatives on alternative media, as well as publications such as @FDRLST and @NRO and their most popular writers have been AWOL on the issue. While the most mainstream Democrats never feel pressure to "disavow" the most fringey wingnuts, the right is cowed.
This is even more insidious than it seems. Not only will conservative pundits not speak out in support of deplatforming victims, interview them or even acknowledge that the phenomenon exists - their silence reinforces the perception that the victims are outside the mainstream.
There are important exceptions, of course, and they know who they are - some of whom have been VERY helpful in these efforts.

But much of what is done in support of cases such as this is being done quietly, because the cultural, media and institutional landscape requires it.
The up side is that a cadre of smart, lithe, committed, creative and (here's how you know I'm not including myself) young, moderate but ideologically committed conservatives of every race, sex, orientation and creed has coalesced to do the work mainstream conservatives won't.
I am proud to call them my friends and to have the opportunity to be involved in this work at all. I don't know if it will succeed, but it is impossible that our efforts will not ultimately results in some important change and, I firmly believe, in more freedom for everyone.
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