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Craig Brittain, the creator of defunct revenge porn site IsAnybodyDown who is now running for Jeff Flake’s vacated Arizona Senate seat (and recently failed to gather enough signatures to appear on the official ballot), is suing Twitter for allegedly violating his First Amendment rights by suspending his Twitter accounts. While Brittain’s primary account was suspended in February of last year, he continued to tweet from “@SenatorBrittain” until that account, too, was suspended on March 30.

Twitter has not said why Brittain’s campaign account was taken down, but, as The Washington Times noted at the time, Brittain had recently tweeted conspiracy theories about the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting and its survivors. “Just like David Hogg, Cameron Kasky and Emma Gonzalez, I was nowhere near the scene when the shooting actually happened,” Brittain tweeted on March 19. “When will you tell the REAL truth.” Brittain’s lawsuit suggests an alternate motive on Twitter’s part, stating the account “was suspended after over 2,000 retweeted a post asking for his campaign committee to be verified by Twitter.”

But Brittain isn’t claiming that his behavior wasn’t offensive enough to warrant being silenced on the platform. His argument is a bit more complex than that. In the lawsuit, Brittain points to the recent ruling by a federal judge who found that President Trump couldn’t block Twitter users he disagreed with as his account operated as a government-controlled “public forum.” According to Brittain, the entire site is such a “public forum” and suspending users for their views is a similar violation of the First Amendment.

“Twitter, which would have been unsustainable and unprofitable without President Barack Obama’s substantial use of and contributions to the website and company, is an entirely a public forum,” the lawsuit states, “as taxpayers have paid for it and/or invested in its existence with tax monies and participatory actions resulting in advertising revenue between 2008-present, where tax dollars were effectively or literally used to maintain and operate Twitter’s tools and services.”

It certainly requires some mental gymnastics to come to Brittain’s conclusion, which feels more like a right-wing Choose Your Own Adventure than a clear argument about why Twitter should be treated as a government-controlled entity.

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This isn’t the first time a right-wing figure has taken legal action against Twitter for allegedly violating their right to free speech. Both Jared Taylor, founder of the white supremacist site American Renaissance, and “troll on steroids” Chuck Johnson have sued Twitter for suspending their accounts, using an anti-discrimination law that applies to California businesses as the basis of their cases. Taylor’s lawsuit, which was filed in February, is still ongoing. Johnson, who filed his lawsuit in January, received a tentative ruling on Wednesday proposing the lawsuit be dismissed on anti-SLAPP grounds.

While it seems unlikely that court of law will accept Twitter as a legally defined public forum, the suit does offer a remarkable insight into Brittain’s worldview. “Brittain takes the view that a centralized government is unnecessary for society,” the lawsuit states. “He believes that all people have the natural right to secede and that succession does not create an impermissible state of anarchy or chaos, as Canada resides peacefully on the US border(s).”

We have reached out to Twitter for more information and will update this story if and when they respond.

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