Plaintiff Cannot Use Trump’s Anti-Part 230 EO to Sue Fb-Gomez v. Zuckenberg

Want to Learn More About Section 230? A Guide to My Work

This Pro-Se / In-Pro plaintiff sued Facebook for not being able to log into his account or opening a new one. The plaintiff alleged that Facebook violated Trump's order against Section 230, EO 13295, Preventing Online Censorship, 85 Fed. Reg. 34079 (May 28, 2020). The court's understated answer:

EO 13925 was not intended – and explicitly excluded – a private right of action for people who claim an online platform for their accounts. To this end, EO 13925 Section 8 (c) provides: “(t) Its order is not intended and does not create a material or procedural right or benefit that a party may enforce against the United States by law or equity, theirs Departments, agencies or corporations, their officers, employees or representatives or any other person. "


The court found that EO 13925 was not a basis for the plaintiff's claim, even if the defendants arbitrarily removed his account or prevented him from opening a new one.

Case dismissed.

Although some people have tried to treat the EO as a serious legal development, this ruling reminds that Trump's EO hasn't really done anything. It lied and lied to the American people, but it didn't make a law that was important. Even so, the EO catalyzes a number of other horrific developments, such as the DOJ's anti-Section 230 screed and the NTIA's petition to the FCC to revise Section 230 case law. I analogize the Trump EO as crap that, after being distributed across our government, sprouts harmful and unwanted weeds.

Case quote: Gomez v. Zuckenburg, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130989 (N.D.N.Y. July 23, 2020)

Note: The label "Zuckenberg" is a mistake in the original complaint. In Bloomberg's law, I found three more case labels with the same error.


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