The distinction between @POTUS and @realDonaldTrump is the distinction between the office and the person who fills it—what we might call the President’s “Twitter politic” and his “Twitter natural.”
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A summary of Twitter's complaint against the Department of Homeland Security in response to a CBP summons to reveal account information of one of its users.
How have President Trump’s comments about federal judges changed the threat landscape for those who serve on the federal bench?
There are two big questions in these cases: Does CDA § 230 really mean that a social media company is categorically immune from liability for knowingly permitting terrorists to organize and plot on their platforms? And if not, what standard of causation does a plaintiff have to meet in order to hold a social media company liable for an attack by a terrorist group that does some of its organizing online?
Just as we should keep a sharp eye out for signs that a Trump administration may be slouching toward authoritarianism—not because that danger is immediately present, but because the potential for it is real—we should also watch for signs that Trump-inspired online harassment is veering into state calls for punishment of critics or dissenters.
Twitter won a first round yesterday on the question of whether CDA § 230 immunizes the company against civil lawsuits over its provision of service to terrorist groups. Here's the decision from Judge William Orrick of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California:
A few months ago, Zoe Bedell and I wrote a series of posts about Twitter and potential liability for material support for terrorist groups arising out of its provision of service to ISIS members and supporters. The legal theory we laid out just showed up in litigation against the company.
A new study shows Twitters efforts to counter ISIS supporters on the service are working. Can the company be considered to provide material support to a terrorist organization at the same time that it actively and effectively works against that organization?
Tweeting Terrorists, Part III: How Would Twitter Defend Itself Against a Material Support Prosecution?
Would it be constitutional to prosecute Twitter for hosting overt, official accounts of designated foreign terrorist organizations?
Tweeting Terrorists, Part II: Does it Violate the Law for Twitter to Let Terrorist Groups Have Accounts?
Does it violate the material support law for Twitter to let designated foreign terrorist groups have official Twitter feeds?