An independent journalist and harsh critic of the government’s pandemic response sued Twitter for having permanently suspended his account after he had repeatedly violated the social media’s COVID-19 misinformation guidelines by publishing statements on the COVID-19 vaccines that were considered misleading by the defendant company.
By decision of 29 April 2022, the District Court of California granted in part and denied in part Twitter’s motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s claim. Notably, the Court held that plaintiff’s breach of contract and promissory estoppel claims should proceed. However, the Court found that U.S.C. Section 230(c)(2)(A) – which precludes liability for removing content that the platform finds to cause harm to its users, such as misinformation regarding COVID-19 – barred the plaintiff’s claim that Twitter violated his First Amendment free speech rights.