Laura Loomer Filed A Lawsuit Against Twitter Based On A Prank Someone Played On Her
This past November, far right dingbat Laura Loomer was finally kicked off of Twitter after tweeting a bunch of crazy ass hateful shit about Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. To put it mildly, she was not happy about it. In fact, she kind of lost her fucking mind (what was left of it anyway) and ended up handcuffing herself to Twitter headquarters in order to protest the ban. She's been yelling about it ever since -- though since she's not on Twitter, few have even noticed.
Filled with desperation and with nowhere else left to turn, she is bringing her case to court and suing Twitter in hopes that a judge and jury will force the social media company to give her back her account so that she can continue to use it to scream horrible things about Muslim people all day long. This is what she is currently doing on Instagram, where she just recently went on a charming rant all about how much she hates Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar (yes, again), stating that Islam is a "cancer" and that "Muslims should not be allowed to seek positions of political office in this country. It should be illegal."
With statements like that, it is hard to believe that Twitter, or anyone, for that matter, would not be thrilled to have a normal human person like Laura Loomer on their site.
Because I am some kind of a masochist, I read all of Loomer's lawsuit -- and I assure you, it is even more stupid than you can even imagine.
First of all -- she's not just suing Twitter. She's suing Twitter and CAIR -- the Council on American-Islamic Relations -- because she's claiming that CAIR is in cahoots with Hamas and also the Kingdom of Qatar and all three of them are conspiring to take her down by depriving her of Twitter and Twitter has to do what they say, for reasons, possibly because they just really love Sharia Law. No, really:
As alleged further herein, the TOS are merely a pretext to place a "progressive"and positive gloss on Twitter's bad faith, unjustified and unprivileged elimination of plaintiffs' predominant publishing and fundraising platform, in concert with and at the behest of CAIR Florida and CAIR National, acting with or on behalf of their affiliate Hamas and their financial sponsor the Kingdom of Qatar and, on information, other parties not presently known to plaintiff, thereby effectively silencing Ms. Loomer, eliminating a vigorous and courageous journalistic and investigatory adversary from the public square, enabling defendants to benefit unfairly thereby and causing Ms. Loomer and Illoominate the harm set forth herein.
All of this is based not in reality, but on a prank someone played on her. Like, someone was fucking with her, and rather than admitting she got played, she's just going with it and pretending it is all real. That is an impressive level of "No, I meant to have spinach in my teeth, that is my new look, I'm starting a trend" commitment right there.
As Jared Holt of Right Wing Watch reported in January:
After Loomer's handcuffing stunt, Nathan Bernard and his associates, who say they seek to rile up and expose right-wing figures through a media operation they've dubbed "Bernard Media," got to work devising a prank in which they would pose as a Twitter employee named Brad and seek to convince Loomer that "Brad" could help get her account reinstated. As the prank wore on and Loomer continued communicating with Bernard and his friends, they devised a plan to see how hard it would be to play off her anti-Muslim attitudes and convince her that Muslim groups were directly responsible for her suspension. Since December, Bernard and his friends exchanged hundreds of text messages with Loomer and spoke with her on the phone for nearly a half-hour, a conversation in which they offered deadpan confirmations of all conspiracy theories Loomer suggested to them about Muslim groups' responsibility for her suspension. They even sent her a fabricated appointment calendar they said showed Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's schedule, and it included a notation for a meeting with CAIR on a date just days before Loomer's suspension from the platform.
Here she is talking to the guy. It is pretty hilarious.
Loomer contends that because Twitter has banned her and not Rep. Omar or even Louis Farrakhan, their Terms of Service are applied unfairly and unjustly.Except here's the thing! Even if Rep. Omar did say something ban-worthy, she's a member of Congress and Twitter has gone on record, previously -- when explaining why Trump wouldn't be banned for violating their Terms of Service -- saying that they don't ban political figures.
In January, Twitter published a blog post publicly codifying what had already been company policy, saying that "Blocking a world leader from Twitter or removing their controversial Tweets would hide important information people should be able to see and debate."
Twitter's view is that keeping up political figures' controversial tweets encourages discussion and helps hold leaders accountable. The comments, the company argues, can either happen in the open, on Twitter, or behind closed doors.
So there's that.
Regarding Louis Farrakhan -- he sure has said some terrible things. That is true. He absolutely should be banned as well, and I could not tell you why he hasn't been. Maybe Twitter puts him in the same category as political figures like Donald Trump.
In order for someone to be banned from Twitter, they need to have tweeted something that violated the Terms of Service and (very importantly) was reported by other users, and usually on more than one occasion if the person is going to be banned rather than suspended. Because Twitter cannot monitor literally every single tweet anyone in the world tweets, they rely heavily on users reporting tweets that violate their terms of service. If someone keeps repeatedly violating the rules, as Loomer did, they get banned.
The lawsuit also contends that Twitter (and CAIR!) basically made it impossible for Loomer to earn a living (her lone skill is, apparently, being a jackass on the internet), because not only did she lose her Twitter account, but she also subsequently got banned from a variety of other platforms.
Plaintiff is a journalist and activist. In order to suppress plaintiff's views regarding certain controversial political topics – in particular, the role of radical Islam and its proponents American public life and policy – defendants CAIR Florida, Inc. and CAIR Foundation, which have been established by the U.S. government and adjudicated as essentially American branches of the Mideast terrorist group Hamas, have acted in concert and conspired with defendant Twitter, Inc. ("Twitter") to cause her to be banned, and prevented her from making a living through the use of, the majority of social media platforms.
These include not only Twitter and the blog platform Medium.com, but also major payment processors PayPal.com and Venmo, ride-sharing systems Uber (including Uber Eats) and Lyft, crowdfunding website GoFundMe, online custom merchandise platform Teespring.
Wow! So weird how Twitter forced all of these other platforms to ban her. Especially the ones that banned her well before they ever did. They must have magic powers or something.
Given that the entire lawsuit is based on shit Loomer was told by someone who was messing with her, I cannot imagine that it will be any more successful in a court of law than a lawsuit against the dictionary for refusing to include the word "gullible."
Loomer has the right to at least try to make a living as a professional hatemonger. What she doesn't have the right to do is force anyone else to assist her against their will.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse