Conservative activist Laura Loomer is pressing to proceed with claims against Twitter, Meta Platforms and Procter & Gamble over her account bans on social media.
Loomer, who previously lost two lawsuits against the tech companies over her account bans, argues in court papers filed last week that her current case against Twitter and Meta include “new claims that could not have been raised” in her prior lawsuits.
This latest battle between Loomer and the tech companies began in May, when she alleged in a sprawling complaint Meta and Twitter engaged in a racketeering conspiracy -- apparently due to their hate-speech policies. In August, she revised the complaint to also include Procter & Gamble as a defendant.
Loomer alleged that she was permanently banned by Twitter in November of 2018, and Facebook in May of 2019, due to their content-moderation policies. (Her account appears to have been reinstated on Twitter, as of Monday afternoon.) She has been suing over the bans since at least 2019, without success.
The tech companies are urging U.S. District Court Judge Laurel Beeler in the Northern District of California to throw out the case for numerous reasons, including that Loomer previously lost lawsuits against them.
“Because a plaintiff cannot file suit in a new court seeking redress for the same harm she sought to remedy in her prior failed litigation, Loomer’s suit is barred, and the court should dismiss it with prejudice,” Twitter argued in recent court papers.
Meta made a similar argument.
Loomer counters in her most recent papers that her current claims are based on new information -- including allegations that Facebook and Twitter conspired with government officials to interfere with the 2020 election. (Those allegations appear to center on reports relating to short-lived efforts to restrict social media users from sharing a New York Post story about Hunter Biden; it's not clear from the court papers how those allegations relate to the companies' decisions to ban Looomer's account in 2018 and 2019.)
One of Loomer's allegations against Procter & Gamble is that it “demanded” that Facebook label Loomer a “dangerous individual” and ban her.
Another allegation is that in June of 2020 -- more one year after her account ban on Facebook -- Procter & Gamble met with the progressive group Color of Change “to discuss Facebook’s track record of removing content that violates their standards.” That allegation was based on a June 26, 2020 report in The Wall Street Journal.
Procter & Gamble urged Beeler to dismiss the complaint against it, writing that Loomer hadn't stated a valid claim.
The company argued that even if Loomer's allegations were proven true, they would show only that the company “asserted its own legitimate business interest in not having its advertisements appear next to hateful, denigrating, discriminatory, or other similarly offensive content.”
Loomer is opposing Procter & Gamble's request, arguing that the company's alleged request that Facebook ban her, and Facebook's alleged compliance, “deprived of her intangible right not to have her reputation damaged by being labeled a 'dangerous individual' and de-platformed.”
The lawsuit is tentatively scheduled for a hearing in front of Beeler on January 26.