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Devin Nunes can’t sue Twitter over parody cow account

Twitter is protected by Section 230, the judge ruled.
Karissa Bell, @karissabe
June 24, 2020
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Ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Devin Nunes listens as Ambassador Kurt Volker, former special envoy to Ukraine, and Tim Morrison, a former official at the National Security Council, testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on November 19, 2019. (Photo by SHAWN THEW / POOL / AFP) (Photo by SHAWN THEW/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
SHAWN THEW via Getty Images

Twitter’s legal battle with Rep. Devin Nunes over a parody cow account is over. The social media company is “immune” from the California Congressman's claims of defamation, the judge in the case wrote in a ruling reported by The Fresno Bee.

Nunes sued the company last year over statements made by two parody Twitter accounts, @DevinCow and @DevinNunesMom. He also sued the account-holders (though Twitter has declined to identify them), along with political strategist Liz Mair. As The Fresno Bee notes, the judge’s ruling only applies to the claims against Twitter, and does not affect Nunes’ case against Mair or the individual Twitter accounts.

In the ruling, the judge said Twitter is protected by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which says tech platforms can’t be held liable for what their users say.  

In a statement, Twitter praised the ruling. “Twitter strongly believes the court made the right decision today to dismiss the claims raised by Congressman Nunes,” a company spokesperson said. “Twitter enforces the Twitter Rules impartially for everyone who uses our service around the world, regardless of their background or political affiliation. We are constantly improving our efforts to serve the public conversation and will continue to be transparent with the public.”

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