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Section 230 Preempts Another Facebook Account Termination Case–Zimmerman v. Facebook

Another pro se lawsuit over Facebook account terminations fails. Some background on the case.

This is an easy Section 230 case: “A social media site’s decision to delete or block access to a user’s individual profile falls squarely within this [Section 230] immunity.” Cites to Riggs, FAN, Ebeid, & Sikhs for Justice.

There is no constitutional workaround: “To the extent that the constitutional claims are free speech claims premised on the blocking of the plaintiffs’ accounts, they fail because Facebook is not a state actor.” The court explains:

The plaintiffs argue that Facebook has become a “quasi-state actor” by operating a “digital town square” and providing a “public free speech forum.” But the Ninth Circuit recently rejected these exact arguments in the context of constitutional claims brought against YouTube, and its reasoning is equally applicable here [cite to Prager U v. YouTube]

Those rulings are pretty well established, but the court did address a less common argument:

Finally, the plaintiffs’ claims relating to Facebook’s allegedly treasonous conduct fail because “[t]here is no private cause of action for treason.”

(A reminder: treason is waging war against our country).

Case citation: Zimmerman v. Facebook, Inc., 2020 WL 5877863 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 2, 2020). The complaint.

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