Northern District of California Dismisses Case Against Facebook and Twitter

MLRC MediaLawLetter

by Allyson Veile and Margaret Strouse
June 8, 2022

The Northern District of California’s decision in Hart v. Facebook, et. al., 22-cv-00737-CRB (N.D. Cal. May 5, 2022), joins the growing collection of case law rejecting First Amendment claims against social media companies for exercising control over the content that appears on their platforms.

The Plaintiff in the case, social media user Justin Hart, sued Facebook, Twitter, President Joe Biden, and Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, for violating his First Amendment freedom of speech, among other claims. Giving rise to the suit, Facebook and Twitter removed Plaintiff’s posts and restricted his accounts for violating their respective Community Standards to prevent the spread of COVID-19 misinformation. Hart also brought a FOIA enforcement action against the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for failure to respond to his FOIA requests, which sought evidence that his social media posts were specifically targeted by the White House campaign against COVID-19 misinformation on social media.

Read the full article here.

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