Pamela Geller, president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, put out a Twitter message Wednesday that announced, bluntly enough: “We are SUING FACEBOOK.”
And in a statement to WND, she said the suit, if all goes well for her side, could be just a drop in the bucket of legal headaches Facebook could face.
Her tweet, as it continued, suggesting similarly: “Facebook and Loretta Lynch, you’ve been served.”
And it included a link to her website, pamelageller.com, that explained further.
“For years I have documented the outrageous bias of Facebook’s speech policies,” she wrote. “Hundreds of readers and Facebook followers have written to me helpless because Facebook blocked or banned them for posting news stories or comments critical of jihad or Shariah. Enough. We are suing for violation of our First Amendment rights.”
Geller said the suit was on behalf of “freedom loving peoples” who have been “struggling under the boot of Facebook’s strict Shariah adherence.”
She said the AFLC is filing in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, on grounds that Facebook violated Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act under the First Amendment.
“Section 230,” the AFLC said, in a written statement, “provides immunity from lawsuits to Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, thereby permitting these social media giants to engage in government-sanctioned censorship and discriminatory business practices free from legal challenge.”
Geller, along with Robert Spencer and the group Jihad Watch, allege the censorship they’ve suffered due to their “beliefs and views” is “largely religion-based” and that California state anti-discrimination law would prevent such discrimination – except that it’s overridden by Section 230.
“Because of the immunity granted by the federal government, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are free to engage in their otherwise unlawful, discriminatory practices,” the AFLC said in a statement.
Geller then said Facebook has been “notoriously one-sided” for years, and “those who oppose jihad terror, support Israel and stand against the most brutal and extreme ideology on the face of the earth (sharia) have been systematically blocked and banned.”
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For instance, Facebook within the last month removed Geller’s page and blocked her over posts that spoke of the Muslim gunman who went on a murderous rampage at a “gay” club in Orlando, Florida, she said. The company’s justification?
It was based on Facebook prohibitions against “hateful, obscene or threatening” content, Geller said.
“But it is not hateful, obscene or threatening to oppose jihad terror such as we saw in Orlando,” she went on. “Truth is not hateful or obscene. What is hateful, obscene and threatening is that Facebook is moving to silence everyone who speaks honestly about the motivating ideology behind such attacks.”
Geller also said Facebook has previously suspended her account, on occasions when she “get[s] too close to truths they want to cover up,” she wrote.
“They’re afraid these truths will get out, and that people will start acting to remove the feckless and traitorous leaders who got us into this fix,” she said.
Geller also said ignoring Facebook was not the sanest solution, and one that glossed over the infringement on free speech.
“I am sick and tired of the suppression of our speech,” she said. “We are unable to engage in the public square. And yes, Facebook is the public square; it’s where we connect. We have to fight for it. Shouting into the wilderness is not freedom of speech. My Facebook page has close to 300,000 followers. and combined with my [other] pages, the reach is another 100,000. It’s a critical connection.”
The suit comes as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was just forced to fight off allegations of bias against conservatives that saw the company’s news curators posting in the popular top news feed section only those items from mainstream or liberal sites, as reported by WND.
“Facebook is increasing doing the bidding of vicious Muslim thugs and supremacists. … Frankly, it’s terrible and getting worse,” Geller said, at the end of her statement. “As it continues to seize power and control, the left is on dangerous ground. We well know that bloody outcome of this trajectory. This has to end now.”
Geller’s goals for the suit start with declaratory relief and an injunction – but could expand, depending on how the court battle ends.
In a statement to WND, Geller said: “Per our lawsuit, we are seeking only declaratory and injunctive relief. We want the federal court to declare unconstitutional and enjoin section 230 of the Communications Decency Act because it confers broad powers of censorship upon Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube officials, who can censor constitutionally protected speech and engage in discriminatory business practices with impunity by virtue of this power conferred by the federal government, [is] in violation of the First Amendment.”
She then said a win on these grounds would pave the way for more suits.
“Once this immunity provision is struck down, then this federal protection is removed, opening the door for direct legal challenges against Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube,” Geller said, in her email. “At that time, their legal exposure will be huge, so we suspect that they will be forced to change their practices on their own. But if they don’t, we will go after them directly.”