Former Biglaw Attorneys Sue To Get Back On Twitter
Florida attorneys -- and spouses -- Jared Beck and Elizabeth Lee Beck had their Twitter accounts suspended four years ago. The Becks, who met as summer associates at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan before opening their own firm, say their suspension from Twitter is because they're "thorns in the side of the Democratic Party." Jared Beck, a Bernie Sanders supporter, made disparaging tweets about Kamala Harris, then a presidential candidate, and the pair sued the Democratic National Convention -- unsuccessfully -- for fraud on behalf of Sanders supporters.
But as they told Reuters, they were prepared to accept their ban from the social media platform.
With a combined 30,000-plus Twitter followers, the couple said being booted from the platform was a blow since they'd used it as an advocacy tool in their DNC fraud case. Still, they didn't initially fight it. "We said 'OK, whatever, we'll go on with our lives,'" Beck said.
However in a lawsuit, recently removed from Miami-Dade County Court to federal court, they allege that an Elon Musk tweet changed the Twitter terms of service and they're entitled to reinstatement:
In their lawsuit against Twitter, they claim that when the new CEO announced the amnesty in a Nov. 24 tweet, that changed the terms of the user agreement.
The Becks argue that because they never broke the law with their tweets or egregiously spammed, Twitter has materially breached its contract with them by failing to reinstate their accounts.
They're seeking injunctive relief and damages in excess of $100,000.
In January, Twitter announced an appeals process for those who've had their accounts suspended.
As we shared earlier, we have been proactively reinstating previously suspended accounts. Starting February 1, anyone can appeal an account suspension and be evaluated under our new criteria for reinstatement. https://t.co/2MR8yonMlM
-- Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) January 28, 2023
In filings, Twitter has argued that the user agreement allows an account to be banned for any reason or no reason at all. They've also leaned on the amnesty from suit provided by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which has been a successful strategy for the social media giant in the past.
Kathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, host of The Jabot podcast, and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. AtL tipsters are the best, so please connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter @Kathryn1 or Mastodon @Kathryn1@mastodon.social.