Twitter defines itself as “a free social networking microblogging service.”
That would be “free” as in “doesn’t cost anything.” Not free as in “freedom of speech.”
Independent journalist Alex Berenson was banned from the service in August after he posted a tweet questioning the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.
Only now he is suing, saying Twitter is a “common carrier” of information like a telegraph service, and not a news publication entitled to edit and curate the information its users send out.
The lawsuit filed Dec. 20 in U.S. District Court for Northern California seeks the restoration of Berenson’s Twitter account and unspecified monetary damages over his permanent ban.
Twitter, based in San Francisco, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from DailyMail.com.
Berenson, who is a former New York Times reporter noted for questioning pandemic policies, tweeted COVID vaccines: “It doesn’t stop infection. Or transmission. Don’t think of it as a vaccine. … Think of it – at best – as a therapeutic with a limited window of efficacy and terrible side effect profile that must be dosed IN ADVANCE OF ILLNESS.”
The detailed 70-page complaint alleges that Twitter is required under California and federal law to provide service to all comers, just like a telegram service or a railroad.
The complaint contends that the Twitter ban occurred shortly after officials including President Joe Biden called for a crackdown on “misinformation” on social media, and that Twitter was responding to government pressure in banning him. The suit claims violation of the First Amendment, false advertising, and violation of California common carrier law, among other complaints.