Should it be illegal to make fun of Devin Nunes on Twitter? | The Tylt
Should it be illegal to make fun of Devin Nunes on Twitter?
Nunes sued Twitter; an account called @DevinNunesMom which is no longer active; @Devincow, which is still very active and seems to love the attention; and Liz Mair, a Republican strategist. Per the New York Times:
The complaint, which was filed in Henrico County Circuit Court in Virginia on Tuesday, seeks $250 million in damages. In making his case, Mr. Nunes, a loyal ally of President Trump and the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, repeated several common Republican complaints that Twitter has repeatedly denied: that it censors Republicans, “shadow bans” their accounts and actively helps their opponents.
Legal experts, however, say there is little legal standing for the suit. According to Vanity Fair, just because someone hurts Devin Nunes' feelings, it doesn't mean it violates any laws.
As it stands, the suit seems destined for failure. Twitter has repeatedly denied censoring conservative voices. Even if the company were “shadow-banning” certain accounts, said Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano, that wouldn’t be grounds for a lawsuit. “It’s not illegal,” the conservative former judge said Tuesday. “They are not the government.” As for the critical accounts, Nunes is a public figure. The right to mock him, however mercilessly, is protected under the First Amendment. “The case is not really well thought through,” Jim Bickerton, an expert in libel law, told The Washington Post, noting that the jokes made by the parody accounts—one posing as the congressman’s disappointed mother, the other as his long-suffering cow—are “most obviously hyperbole” and thus likely fair game.