Twitter to Face Claims by `White Advocate' Over Banned Accounts

(Bloomberg) -- 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.

Taylor is the founder of the New Century Foundation, an organization that “purports to show the inferiority of blacks to whites,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Taylor describes himself as a “racialist” who believes in “racial realism.” Taylor alleges Twitter won’t allow him and his publication “to respectfully share their views on its open platform.”

Twitter contends that it has a First Amendment right, just like newspapers, to publish or not publish whatever it wants. It also insists that the federal Communications Decency Act, originally passed to regulate pornography, gives it to right to ban offensive content.

The San Francisco-based company declined to comment on the judge’s decision.

The case is Taylor v. Twitter, CGC18564460, California Superior Court, San Francisco.

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