Imagine, for a moment, that you are Devin Nunes, one of the slimiest fixtures in Congress. Imagine you spent years as a spineless Trump apologist, and that you used your authority on the House Intelligence Committee to hamper investigations into Donald Trump and to lie and disseminate cherrypicked half-truths to blame the Democrats for all of your lies. Imagine you had a shady relationship with not only shady Russian figures but shady figures within the Republican-Russian coalition, and your activities worked to keep Russia’s social media shenanigans in the shadows. Now imagine having the balls to sue Twitter because some parody accounts made fun of you.
Devin Nunes, a Republican congressman from California, said on Monday that he is suing Twitter, a GOP operative, and unnamed defendants behind parody accounts on the social network, for defamation and other claims, after those accounts insulted him on the platform.
In an appearance on Hannity, Nunes said he was suing Twitter in the first of many lawsuits he plans to file against technology companies for their bias against conservatives. That appearance came after Fox News reported that the congressman had filed a $250 million lawsuit “in Virginia state court” on Monday and posted a document that lacks a case number and any verification of filing.
Nunes, who represents the 22nd District in California, said in the document posted by Fox News that Twitter played a willing party to abuse he faced from a number of parody accounts, including one using the Twitter handle @DevinNunesMom. He also alleged that Twitter shadowbanned his account @devinnunes — a process by which a social network can quietly curb the distribution or reach of a user’s content without outright banning them — when he tried to respond to that criticism.
“The shadow-banning was intentional,” Nunes’ document reads, noting that Twitter is “essential” for the meaningful participation in American democracy. “It was calculated to interfere with and influence the federal election and interfere with Nunes’ ongoing investigation as a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.”
I won’t speak to the shadow-banning thing because I tend to believe that Republicans confuse this concept of “shadow-banning” for the reality of “they don’t understand Twitter algorithms and they believe their tweets should be more popular.” As for suing Twitter because parody accounts are making fun of a SITTING CONGRESSMAN…wow. Thin-skinned much? I’m just going to include some highlights from the lawsuit and some tweets from the “Devin Nunes’ Mom” account:
4. Best line from the @DevinNunes complaint: "In her endless barrage of tweets, Devin Nunes’ Mom maliciously attacked every aspect of Nunes’ character, honesty, integrity, ethics and fitness to perform his duties as a United States Congressman."
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) March 18, 2019
Devin Nunes' complaint is a more devastating takedown of Devin Nunes than anything anyone has ever tweeted
— a cow belonging to devin nunes (@timothypmurphy) March 18, 2019
there’s an actual line in devin nunes’ lawsuit against twitter that claims twitter trolls “falsely accused Mr. Nunes of having ‘herp-face’” and I think that’s neat
— chair admirer (@KrangTNelson) March 18, 2019
Reasonable people can disagree but I think this is the funniest part of Devin Nunes’s lawsuit. pic.twitter.com/j8rUesE9gz
— Barry Petchesky (@barry) March 18, 2019
Photos courtesy of Getty.