In July last year, Tulsi Gabbard, a Hawaii congressman and Democratic presidential candidate, filed a lawsuit against Google, alleging that the company violated her First Amendment right to free speech, when the company suspended her campaign ad account,media reported. On Wednesday, local time, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California dismissed the lawsuit.
The Gabbard campaign, Tulsi Now, Inc., is understood to be seeking $50 million in damages from Google. In the lawsuit, her campaign argued that Google helped the election through political advertising and search results, a argument that District Judge Stephen Wilson strongly rejected.
Dismissing the case, Wilson noted that Gabbard had failed to demonstrate that Google’s oversight of its own platform amounted in any way to government oversight of elections. When it comes to a private company like Google, The First Amendment’s freedom of speech protection does not apply. A week ago, another California court reached a similar conclusion in a lawsuit filed against YouTube by Prager U, a right-wing group.
Echoing unfounded conservative complaints about technology censorship, Gabbard described paid political ads as free speech, “which is a threat to freedom of speech, fair elections and our democracy, and I intend to fight back on behalf of all Americans.” “
Gabbard also condemned Google’s notified position in the search business, in line with antitrust technology sentiment expressed by other Democratic candidates.