Court Urged To Reject Laura Loomer Bid To Revive Claims Over Account Bans

Meta Platforms, X and Procter & Gamble this week asked a federal appellate court to reject right-wing activist Laura Loomer's attempt to revive a racketeering lawsuit over her ban from social media platforms.

The companies argue that U.S. District Court Judge Laurel Beeler in the Northern District of California correctly dismissed Loomer's lawsuit for several reasons -- including that her allegations, even if proven true, wouldn't show that the companies engaged in the kind of criminal conspiracy that could violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

The new filings come in a lawsuit brought by Loomer in 2022, when she claimed in a sprawling complaint that Meta and X (formerly Twitter) engaged in a racketeering conspiracy by banning her over alleged violations of their content policies. She later amended her complaint by claiming that Procter & Gamble was part of the alleged racketeering conspiracy because it supposedly threatened to stop running ads on Meta unless it banned her.



Meta's Facebook banned Loomer in May 2019 and X banned her in November 2018, but reinstated her account after Elon Musk acquired the company. (Meta hasn't responded to a MediaPost query about Loomer's status, but Facebook currently has an account with her name.)

Beeler dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice last year.

In addition to ruling that Loomer's allegations didn't support her racketeering claim, the Beeler said Loomer couldn't proceed against Meta and X because she previously lost similar lawsuits against both companies, and because Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act protects web companies from lawsuits over content moderation decisions.

Beeler also dismissed Loomer's claims against Procter & Gamble, writing her allegations, if proven, would show only that Facebook and Procter & Gamble were protecting their business interests. She added that Procter & Gamble's alleged attempt to avoid running ads near objectionable content was a legitimate business decision.

Looomer recently asked the 9th Circuit to revive her case.

Among other arguments, she says her 2022 allegations against Meta differ from the allegations in the cases that were previously dismissed.

“New facts, and thus new claims, have developed since the previous cases, including new conspiratorial acts constituting First Amendment violations,” her attorney writes in papers filed in January with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Counsel specifically points to allegations that Loomer was unable to use Facebook to campaign when she ran for Congress in 2020 and 2022.

But Meta counters that Loomer filed her prior lawsuit after she had announced plans to run in the 2020 election.

“She therefore could have asserted that Meta suppressed her speech and interfered with her election in that prior litigation. None of her new allegations changes this bottom-line conclusion,” the company writes in papers filed this week with the appellate court.

Procter & Gamble separately argues that Loomer's allegations show, “at most,” a commercial relationship.

The company writes that it “has a business interest in how its company and products are advertised and what content those advertisements are associated with,” adding that it “pays Facebook for advertising space and is concerned about the context and placement of its advertisements.”

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