Rep. Devin Nunes’ lawsuit against Twitter might have taken a big hit Tuesday from President Donald Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign.
A statement tweeted by digital guru Brad Parscale on behalf of the Trump campaign, the Republican National Committee, and other GOP groups stated that Twitter’s impact on elections “is insignificant.”
In his lawsuit, Nunes alleges that Twitter enabled GOP strategist Liz Mair and anonymous people posting on the accounts Devin Nunes’ Cow and Devin Nunes’ Mom to defame him and hurt his 2018 reelection bid against Fresno County prosecutor Andrew Janz.
The lawsuit against Twitter is among several that Nunes, a Tulare Republican, has filed against media companies this year, as well as the Fusion GPS political research firm.
Nunes Remains on Twitter
Though Nunes claims to have been damaged politically and personally defamed by the tweets, he retained his congressional seat — albeit by a much closer margin than he is accustomed. He continues to maintain two Twitter handles: a personal account and a congressional account.
Even though Nunes is one of President Trump’s most loyal defenders, the Trump campaign might have inadvertently made it harder for Nunes to prove his point in court.
Reacting to Google’s decision to not allow political advertisers to target voters beyond basic traits like gender, age, and location, Team Trump voiced its objections with a long tweet.
“Google’s latest arbitrary rule changes are a blatant attempt to suppress voter information, knowledge, and engagement in the 2020 election,” the tweet stated. “These actions will lead directly to suppressing voter turnout.”
Team Trump’s Assessment of Twitter
In the sixth paragraph of the seven-paragraph tweet, Team Trump and the RNC turned their attention to Twitter, which banned political ads on Oct. 30.
“Much has been made of Twitter’s equally concerning decision to ban political ads and suppress speech, but because advertising on that platform is ineffective and only a tiny percentage of Americans use Twitter, their impact is insignificant. Google, however, is a serious platform with very deep reach across the entire country.”
Full text: pic.twitter.com/gPU18Cc9Bn
— Brad Parscale (@parscale) November 26, 2019
Google Responds to Trump Campaign Complaints
A Google spokesperson told CNBC, “We know that political campaign strategists on both sides of the aisle have raised concerns about how our changes may alter their targeting strategies, but we believe the balance we have struck — allowing political ads to remain on our platforms while limiting narrow targeting that can reduce the visibility of ads and trust in electoral processes — is the right one.”
According to Politico, Facebook is deciding whether to limit targeted political advertising as well.