A federal appeals court is rejecting claims that tech companies like Facebook, Google, Twitter and Apple have conspired to suppress conservative viewpoints on their platforms.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on Wednesday affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit that was filed by the conservative legal organization Freedom Watch and far-right activist Laura Loomer. Freedom Watch and Loomer alleged that the Silicon Valley giants were coordinating together to silence conservative viewpoints and that they were violating the First Amendment and antitrust policies.
“The district court dismissed the complaint, holding that Freedom Watch had standing to sue but failed to allege colorable legal claims,” the judges wrote in their decision. “On appeal, we reach the same conclusion.”
The panel of judges include Judith Rogers, a Clinton appointee; Thomas Griffith, a George W. Bush appointee; and A. Raymond Randolph, a George H.W. Bush appointee.
The judges concluded that Freedom Watch failed to offer a satisfactory First Amendment claim against the tech companies, noting that “in general, the First Amendment ‘prohibits only governmental abridgment of speech.'”
“Freedom Watch fails to point to additional facts indicating that these platforms are engaged in state action and thus fails to state a viable First Amendment claim,” the judges wrote.