Twitter is suing Texas Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton, seeking to halt his state’s investigation into the Big Tech company’s move to ban President Trump from the platform.
Paxton launched the investigation into Big Tech’s coordinated effort to deplatform Trump shortly after the events of Jan. 6, where the capitol building was breached by rioters, and the media later accused the former President of “inciting an insurrection.”
Twitter is claiming that they were “targeted” by Paxton as a form of retaliation for exercising their “First Amendment rights.”
The company’s lawsuit was filed in a California federal court on Monday, and they are asking the judge to stop Paxton’s probe.
The Texas Tribune reported “The social media giant’s court filings include a request for a temporary restraining order that would keep Paxton and his office from enforcing a demand that seeks documents revealing the company’s internal decision making processes from banning users, among other things.”
Paxton sent Twitter a civil investigative demand after the company banned Trump following the U.S. Capitol breach. Google, Amazon, Apple, and Facebook were sent the same notice by Paxton as well.
On Jan. 13, Paxton announced “The seemingly coordinated de-platforming of the President of the United States and several leading voices not only chills free speech, it wholly silences those whose speech and political beliefs do not align with leaders of Big Tech companies.”
Twitter said that in its suit that Paxton was “unlawfully abusing his authority as the highest law-enforcement officer of the State of Texas to intimidate, harass, and target Twitter’s exercise of its First Amendment rights.”
Paxton’s actions were “retaliatory” and violated the First Amendment as an inappropriate use of government authority, Twitter also alleged, according to the Texas Tribune.
Texas is not the only state that is seeking to dismantle Big Tech on mass censorship from dissenting viewpoints.
Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL), told Fox News last month that he is looking to protect Floridians’ data privacy, add $100k daily fines to tech companies that deplatform political candidates, and open up a channel for lawsuits against Big Tech from Floridians who’ve been censored over their viewpoint.