Friday, June 15, 2018

California Judge Finds in Favor of Jarod Taylor and 'American Renaissance'

I didn't realize he'd been banned from Twitter.

At Bloomberg, "Twitter to Face Claims by ‘White Advocate’ Over Banned Accounts":
Twitter Inc. lost its bid to dismiss a lawsuit by a “white advocate” who was banned from the site in a challenge to the company’s ability to exclude users it deems objectionable.

California Superior Court Judge Harold Kahn in San Francisco rejected Jared Taylor’s claims that Twitter violated his free speech rights and discriminated against him when it permanently suspended his accounts in December.

But he said Taylor properly supported his allegations that Twitter’s policy of suspending accounts, in the judge’s words, “at any time, for any reason or for no reason” may be unconscionable and that the company calling itself a platform devoted to free speech may be misleading and therefore fraudulent...
And, at American Renaissance, "Jared Taylor Wins First Round in Anti-Censorship Suit Against Twitter":
For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Henry Wolff
Assistant Editor
Phone: 703-716-0900

Yesterday, California Superior Court Judge Harold E. Kahn rejected Twitter’s petition to dismiss the suit Jared Taylor brought against Twitter for banning his Twitter account and that of his organization, American Renaissance. The judge also rejected Twitter’s motion under California’s Anti-SLAPP law to strike the complaint, adding that it was “hard to imagine a clearer public interest lawsuit.”

Judge Kahn described Taylor’s complaint as “very eloquent,” adding that “it goes to the heart of free speech principles that long precede our constitution.”

Judge Kahn recognized Taylor’s claim under California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL) that Twitter could be, in effect, guilty of false advertising by holding itself out as a public forum for free speech while reserving the right to ban the expression of ideas with which it disagrees. Judge Kahn also recognized Taylor’s claim under the UCL that Twitter’s terms of service—according to which it claims the right to ban any user any time for any reason—may well be “unconscionable,” and a violation of the law.

In oral argument, Judge Kahn asked: “Twitter can discriminate on the basis of religion, or gender, or sexual preference, or physical disability, or mental disability?” Counsel for Twitter conceded that it claimed that right—even though it would never exercise it. Judge Kahn denied that Twitter has such a right.

This is the first time censorship by a social media platform—an increasingly widespread practice seen by many as discrimination against conservative viewpoints—has been found actionable under state or federal law. This finding could have far-reaching consequences for other internet platforms that have become essential vehicles for the expression of ideas but that silence voices with which they disagree.

Twitter now has 30 days to answer Taylor’s claims.

The hearing transcript is available here. Coverage: Bloomberg, Associated Press, Law 360.

Jared Taylor and American Renaissance are represented by Washington, D.C., attorney Noah Peters (, Michigan State University law professor Adam Candeub (, and prominent free speech advocate Marc Randazza (702-420-2001).

Note that it's not a First Amendment lawsuit, but is basically civil rights and fair business practices litigation.