The U.S. appeals court in Washington, D.C. dismissed a lawsuit accusing top tech companies such as Apple of silencing conservative voices, reports TechCrunch. Filed in 2018 by Freedom Watch, the lawsuit accused Apple, Facebook, Google, and Twitter of violating antitrust statutes and the First Amendment by censoring conservative content.
The class action suit by Freedom Watch Inc., a conservative nonprofit o claimed all four defendants entered into an “illegal agreement to refuse to deal with conservative news and media outlets” that is “plainly anti-competitive.” The organization is run by infamously litigious far-right former U.S. prosecutor Larry Klayman — who once used conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ video show to call former President Barack Obama “a Muslim through and through” — accused Google, Facebook, Twitter and Apple of “suppression and censorship of conservative content.”
In his ruling, District Judge Trevor McFadden noted that Freedom Watch failed to back up a claim that the companies were “state actors,” involved with the regulation of free speech.
“The Plaintiffs do not show how the Platforms’ alleged conduct may fairly be treated as actions taken by the government itself,” the judge wrote. “Facebook and Twitter, for example, are private businesses that do not become ‘state actors’ based solely on the provision of their social media networks to the public.”