Twitter lawyers refute Musk’s claims about government coercion

Twitter’s lawyers are contradicting claims by owner Elon Musk and his followers that government officials illegally intervened at the social media company to suppress information, allegations that came to light through the Twitter Files.

In a court filing last week, Twitter’s lawyers wrote that there is no evidence of government coercion at Twitter during the 2020 election or in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 riot.

The filing is part of a lawsuit over the banning of Donald Trump’s Twitter account after the Jan.6, 2021 attack at the U.S. Capitol. Mr. Trump’s lawyers argue that the FBI colluded with Twitter to violate the former president’s First Amendment rights.

When discussing communications between the FBI and Twitter, lawyers assert that the FBI did not issue demands to take down content, nor did they threaten governmental sanctions if they were not followed. Instead, the lawyers argue, the agency “issued general updates about their efforts to combat foreign interference in the 2020 election.”

Twitter lawyers also dispute the claim, promoted by Mr. Musk and Mr. Trump, that the federal government paid Twitter to remove posts.

“The new materials demonstrate only that Twitter exercised its statutory right—provided to all private actors—to seek reimbursement for time spent processing a government official’s legal requests for information under the Stored Communications Act,” they said. “The payments therefore do not concern content moderation at all—let alone specific requests to take down content.”

Despite Twitter’s lawyers having a different take on what the Twitter Files revealed, their strategy may help the company in the courtroom.

The case was thrown out once by a federal judge last summer, but after the release of the Twitter Files, lawyers have begun relitigating the issue.

Mr. Musk reinstated Mr. Trump’s account soon after taking the reins at Twitter last year, but Mr. Trump is committed to using his conservative Truth Social platform and has not posted on Twitter since he was reinstated.

Source: WT