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Society & Culture
Virtual Legality Episode 506

Trump's Big Tech Lawsuit: Facebook As Arm of Government?

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3w Jul 8, 2021
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"Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press..."
-US Constitution, First Amendment

Former President Trump has filed a lawsuit against technology giants Twitter and Facebook for violating the US Constitution's First Amendment. The issue however, is that neither Facebook nor Twitter is Congress (or more specifically any arm of the state) by normal measures, so Mr. Trump's legal team has had to get...creative.

Is congressional testimony "coercive"? Are shared e-mails "joint activity"? And what about those recent Supreme Court and Court of Appeals cases that speak pretty strongly against the whole premise?

Let's dive in.

If it's state action to do something under the cloud of possible future legislation, then we are all state actors...in Virtual Legality.

#Trump #Lawsuit #Facebook


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Discussed in this episode:
Trump v Facebook
Filed July 7, 2021 (S.D. FL)
https://aboutblaw.com/Yur?utm_source=twitter&campaign=2CEA049A-DF37-11EB-81DA-26B84F017A06&utm_medium=lawdesk

Facebook "Terms of Service"
Updated October 22, 2020
https://www.facebook.com/terms.php

First Amendment, US Constitution
https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/first_amendment

Lugar v. Edmondson Oil Co., Inc.
457 U.S. 922 (1982)
https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/457/922/

Manhattan Community Access Corporation v. Halleck
US Supreme Court (2019)
https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/18pdf/17-1702_h315.pdf

Blum v. Yaretsky
457 U.S. 991 (1982)
https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/457/991/#1003

Prager University vs Google LLC
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals - February 26, 2020
https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/youtube-1st-amendment-ruling.pdf

"Case decision 2021-001-FB-FBR"
Facebook Oversight Board
https://oversightboard.com/decision/FB-691QAMHJ/

"Protection for private blocking and screening of offensive material"
47 USC 230 (CDA 230)
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/47/230


"Virtual Legality" is a continuing series discussing the law, video games, software, and everything digital, hosted by Richard Hoeg, of the Hoeg Law Business Law Firm (Hoeg Law).

CHECK OUT THE REST OF VIRTUAL LEGALITY HERE:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1zDCgJzZUy9YAU61GoW-00K0TJOGnPCo

DISCUSSION IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT TO BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE. INDIVIDUALS INTERESTED IN THE LEGAL TOPICS DISCUSSED IN THIS VIDEO SHOULD CONSULT WITH THEIR OWN COUNSEL.


DESIGN WORK
Joe Ellis (Logo Design)
Chris Leroux (Motion Graphics)
For more information: contact Chris at @Chrisleroux on Twitter.

PODCAST VERSIONS ALSO AVAILABLE

Table of Contents

Timecode Title
0:00 Introduction
2:02 Venue Issues
4:56 Facebook As State Actor
6:36 Lugar and the State Actor Requirement
8:20 Manhattan Community Access Corporation and Public Forums
12:37 Lugar and Joint Action
13:28 Blum, Regulation, and Coercion
16:05 Prager v YouTube
17:42 CDA 230's Liability Shield
19:20 Trump's Theory of the Case
24:05 Did Congress Coerce Facebook?
28:54 Did Congress Encourage Facebook?
35:42 Did Health Experts Act Jointly with Facebook?
41:20 The Counts
49:25 Requested Relief (Conclusion)

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