WASHINGTON (CBS SF/AP) — Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California is suing Twitter and several of its users for more than $250 million, accusing them of defamation and negligence.
The defendants include two anonymous parody accounts, “Devin Nunes’ Mom” and “Devin Nunes’ Cow.”
The suit by the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee accuses Twitter of “knowingly hosting and monetizing content that is clearly abusive, hateful and defamatory.”
Section 230 of the Communication Decency Act provides internet services with immunity from liability for material posted by their users.
Nunes was a key figure in the House probes into Russian influence on the U.S. election and his critics maintain he has impeded investigations to protect President Donald Trump.
The suit filed in Virginia alleges tweets directed at Nunes are part of a larger effort by Twitter to undermine Republicans, accusing the San Francisco-based social media giant of censoring “viewpoints with which it disagrees” and “shadow-banning conservatives.”
Shadow banning allows users to post freely — but no one else sees their messages. Twitter has denied doing it, although some political conservatives —including President Trump — remain unconvinced.