A white nationalist group and its founder said Wednesday that they were suing Twitter for banning their accounts, arguing the company did so because it disagreed with their viewpoints.
Jared Taylor, who leads the American Renaissance organization, filed a lawsuit in San Francisco superior court claiming that Twitter violated California state law by permanently suspending his account and the organization’s account last December.
“In unilaterally removing Mr. Taylor and American Renaissance from its open, public platform Twitter seeks to censor Mr. Taylor solely based on his controversial viewpoints and perceived affiliations,” the lawsuit states.
Twitter announced in December it would start banning accounts that affiliate with groups “that use or promote violence against civilians to further their causes.” The company says that government entities are exempt from this policy.
Twitter began to act on the new policy Monday morning, suspending several prominent accounts involved in white nationalism or the August white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Va.
The move to suspend accounts frustrated far-right internet activists, who argue that they’re being unfairly silenced on the social media platform. Others have praised the social media company’s decision, saying it helps cut down on abuse and fake news.