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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Twitter sues US attorney general to stop moderation probe

Micro-blogging platform Twitter has sued Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton for opening a probe into its content moderation practices, the media reported.

The company filed the lawsuit in California federal court, saying that the investigation attempts to “intimidate, harass, and target Twitter” in retaliation for banning former US President Donald Trump, reports The Verge.

Twitter in January permanently banned Trump from its platform, citing “risk of further incitement of violence”.

The Twitter ban came after a pro-Trump mob stormed the US Capitol, hoping to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s election victory.

Twitter has asked to court to stop Paxton from demanding “volumes of highly confidential documents” on Twitter’s content moderation system.

“Twitter sought for weeks to reach an agreement with AG Paxton that would put reasonable limits on the scope of this demand, but to no avail,” the complaint read.

“This retaliatory conduct violates the Constitution.”

Paxton opened an investigation into Twitter, Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon in January, citing Trump’s ban from Facebook and Twitter as a “discriminatory” and “unprecedented” action.

Twitter said that while it strives for as much transparency as possible, “it cannot practically make every aspect of its content moderation practices public.”

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey defended the platform’s ban on Trump, saying that it was the right move as offline harm as a result of online speech is demonstrably real.

“I do not celebrate or feel pride in our having to ban @realDonaldTrump from Twitter, or how we got here. After a clear warning we’d take this action, we made a decision with the best information we had based on threats to physical safety both on and off Twitter,” Dorsey had said in one of his tweets.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed.)

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