On Monday, Twitter filed a complaint in court against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who launched an investigation into the platform's content censorship policies. Twitter argues that Paxton launched the investigation in retaliation to the de-platforming of former president Trump, which the company ironically claims is an abuse of power.
We obtained a copy of the complaint for you here.
“Twitter seeks to stop AG Paxton from unlawfully abusing his authority as the highest law-enforcement officer of the State of Texas to intimidate, harass, and target Twitter in retaliation for Twitter's exercise of its First Amendment rights,” the company wrote in the court filing.
Following the suspension of Trump's accounts on most mainstream social media platforms after the Jan 6 riot, Paxton launched an investigation into the moderation policies at Twitter, Facebook, Twitter, Apple, and Amazon.
“First Amendment rights and transparency must be maintained for a free online community to operate and thrive,” Paxton said at the time. “However, the seemingly coordinated de-platforming of the President of the United States and several leading voices not only chills free speech, it wholly silences those whose speech and political beliefs do not align with leaders of Big Tech companies.”
In the court filing, Twitter also argued that it has First Amendment rights that guarantees its freedom to decide what is allowed on the platform. It also claims that it tried to negotiate with the Texas AG to limit the volume of information requested, but the two parties were unable to reach an agreement.
“Instead, AG Paxton made clear that he will use the full weight of his office, including his expansive investigatory powers, to retaliate against Twitter for having made editorial decisions with which he disagrees,” Twitter said.
Twitter's court filing is one of the latest developments in the war between conservatives and big tech companies. Conservatives view censorship of their content as an attempt to silence them. Therefore, in the midterms and 2024 elections, the rally against big tech companies will be a significant issue for Republicans.