Activist and Freedom Watch founder Larry Klayman is suing Google, Facebook, Twitter and Apple in federal court in Washington on behalf of “hundreds” of members of a class of “politically conservative organizations.”
The class-action complaint filed Wednesday focuses on the documented reports of bias and censorship against the tech industry.
“Common questions of fact and law exist as to all class members, including, but not limited to, whether defendants are engaging in illegal suppression and censorship of political conservative content,” the complaint states.
Klayman, the founder also of Judicial Watch who is known for taking on the Washington establishment, explained the “claims are typical of all of the claims of the respective class that it seeks to represent and Freedom Watch has no interests adverse to the interest of the other members of the class, insofar as its injuries are substantially similar to those suffered by the other members of the class.”
The complaint points out that separate actions would result in inconsistent or varying adjudication.
“It has been revealed that defendants, each and every one of them, have engaged in a conspiracy to intentionally and willfully suppress political conservative content,” the claim states.
“This conspiracy has resulted in severe financial loss, as well as unconstitutional suppression of speech and other content, for Freedom Watch and those similarly situated.”
It accuse the tech companies of acting in concert with CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times and the Washington Post, “all of whom are owned and/or managed by persons with a leftist political ideology.”
Klayman contends their ultimate objective is “to take down President Donald Trump and his administration with the intent and purpose to have installed leftist government in the nation’s capital and the 50 states.”
Long before any other news organization, WND was exposing the coordinated campaign by the “Internet Cartel” – Google, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Amazon, Apple and others – to silence free speech by censoring and suppressing independent, conservative and Christian expression on the Internet. Here are highlights of WND’s groundbreaking news and analysis of what has been called the 21st century’s greatest assault on America’s fundamental freedoms of speech, press and religion.
The complaint says the “executives” of the defendants and their compatriots “are intricately connected with former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and former President Bill Clinton and still serve their interests.”
Among their actions are YouTube’s efforts to demonetize videos posted by conservatives.
YouTube is owned by Google.
“YouTube’s parent company, Google, has even been accused by President Trump himself of bias against conservatives, and that search results on Google only reported ‘fake news’ against him,” the complaint says.
It presents several instances of censorship, citing PJ Media, the New York Times, National Review, Gizmodo and others.
“This clearly demonstrated bias against conservative and Republican oriented news stories and outlets has been manifest in Facebook’s new algorithm change, which was effected in 2018, and has in effect censored conservative-leaning publishers on Facebook.
“A study conducted by Western Journal found that since the algorithm change, ‘Liberal publishers have gained about 2 percent more web traffic from Facebook than they were getting prior to the algorithm changes … On the other hand, conservative [and thus Republican] publishers have lost an average of nearly 14 percent.”
Klayman states, “These results are not coindicental. ‘Campbell Brown, a former anchor on NBC and CNN who now leads Facebooks’ news partnerships team, told attendees at a recent technology and publishing conference that Facebook would be censoring news publishers based on its own internal biases.'”
Freedom Watch itself, including its YouTube channel, has been impacted, Klayman said, because of an “illegal agreement” among defendants “to refuse to deal with conservative news and media outlets.”
“Defendants’ agreement has a plainly anti-competitive effect and has no rational economic justification, as they are willing to lose revenue from conservative organizations and individuals like Freedom Watch.”
The suit alleges violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act and the First Amendment.
“Defendants created, operate, and control public platforms that are for public use and public benefit and invite the public to utilize their platforms as a forum for free speech. Defendants act as quasi-state actors because they regulate their public platforms, thereby regulating free speech within their public forums, Google/YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, Apple, Instagram as well as the other social media companies or entities,” the filing says.
The complaint asks for $1 billion in general damages and an order to stop the censorship.
Klayman alleges the intent and effect of the agreement in restraint of trade is to “quash and/or limit advocacy by conservative and pro-Trump public interest groups, advocates and others to further the leftist anti-conservative agendas of these social media giants and to help bring down the Trump presidency and nullify the vote of the millions of citizens who voted for the president. These alleged illegal and anticompetitive actions are an integral part of the so-called ‘resistance’ to remove President Trump and install a leftist government over the 50 states.”
“Our inert and compromised Attorney General Jeff Sessions is unwilling to take strong action through his Antitrust Division as he has become the darling of the left given his refusal to prosecute Hillary Clinton, John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, prominent Democrats and others who are alleged to have committed crimes, while at the same time giving Robert Mueller carte blanche to proceed with his ‘witch hunt,'” Klayman said. “The job now falls to Freedom Watch to right this discrimination against conservatives by the social media giants. That our complaint asks for injunctive relief and in excess of a billion dollars in damages, including punitive damages, pales in comparison to what the Commission of the European Union has already levied against such social media giants such as Google for their alleged ruthless tactics in stifling competition.”