Twitter Battles Sanders Supporters Over Account Suspensions

Twitter is urging a federal judge to throw out a lawsuit by Bernie Sanders supporters Jared Beck and Elizabeth Lee Beck, who allege that the company wrongly failed to reinstate their accounts.

In papers filed Wednesday in federal court in Miami, Twitter says its user agreement “obliterates” the Becks' lawsuit, because that agreement allows the company to suspend users for any reason.

Twitter's argument comes in a complaint filed recently by the Becks, who are suing Twitter under the company name “Don't Tread On Us,” and previously tweeted under @jaredbeck and @eleebeck.

They alleged their accounts were permanently suspended in January of 2019 due to tweets that were critical of Kamala Harris, who was then seeking the Democratic nomination for president. Previously, the Becks unsuccessfully sued the Democratic National Committee for allegedly rigging the primaries in favor of Hillary Clinton.

The duo alleged that CEO Elon Musk, who took over the company last year, said in a tweet that he would reinstate everyone who had been suspended by the former management.

The Becks argue that Musk's tweet amounted to a binding contract, which was violated when Twitter failed to reinstate their accounts.

Twitter counters that its only contract with the Becks was the user agreement, adding that the user agreement “explicitly allows for suspension -- for any or no reason -- and does not require reinstatement.”

Musk's tweet did not change the terms of the user agreement, Twitter argues. “No terms within the user agreement allow for modification by 'tweet,'” the company writes.

Twitter separately argues that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act explicitly protects web companies from liability for removing material.

The Becks are expected to respond to Twitter's argument by the end of the month.

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