Tuesday, January 19, 2021

So Twitter Wants To Be Both Platform and Publisher? Billionaire Bill Clinton Buddy Gets Okay To Sue Over Pizzagate (TWTR)

We have surprisingly few posts on M. Giustra in light of his prominence in the mining biz, the Clinton Foundation and his nine-figure pledge to same, Uranium One uranium (he says he had nothing to do with UONE) and assorted other doings.

From the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, January 15:

B.C. billionaire given the green light to sue Twitter over 'Pizzagate' tweets
Judge says Frank Giustra's connections to province and Twitter's reach give B.C. court jurisdiction

West Vancouver billionaire Frank Giustra has been given the go-ahead to sue Twitter in a B.C. courtroom over the social media giant's publication of a series of tweets tying him to baseless conspiracy theories involving pedophile rings and Bill and Hillary Clinton.

In a ruling released Thursday, Justice Elliott Myers found that Giustra's history and presence in British Columbia, combined with the possibility the tweets may have been seen by as many as 500,000 B.C. Twitter users, meant a B.C. court should have jurisdiction over the case.

It's a victory not only for Giustra — whose philanthropic activities have earned him membership in both the Orders of Canada and B.C. — but for Canadian plaintiffs trying to hold U.S.-based internet platforms responsible for border-crossing content.

'I believe that words do matter'

In a statement, Giustra said he was looking forward to pursuing the case in the province where he built his reputation as the founder of Lionsgate Entertainment.

"I hope this lawsuit will help raise public awareness of the real harm to society if social media platforms are not held responsible for the content posted and published on their sites," Giustra said.

"I believe that words do matter, and recent events have demonstrated that hate speech can incite violence with deadly consequences."

Giustra filed the defamation lawsuit in April 2019, seeking an order to force Twitter to remove tweets he claimed painted him as "corrupt" and "criminal."

He claimed he was targeted by a group who vilified him "for political purposes" in relation to the 2016 U.S. election and his work in support of the Clinton Foundation.

The online attacks allegedly included death threats and links to "pizzagate" — a "false, discredited and malicious conspiracy theory in which [Giustra] was labelled as a 'pedophile,'" the claim states.

Thorny questions

Twitter has not filed a response to Giustra's claim itself — applying instead to have the case tossed because of jurisdiction.

The California-based company said it does not do business in B.C. and that Giustra was only relying on his B.C. roots to file the case in Canada because it would be a non-starter in the U.S., where the First Amendment protects free speech.....MORE

Time to shut Twitter and Facebook down, break up Google (and make the index a utility) and nationalize Amazon.

We'll get to Apple and Pinterest next week.

And one of our only two posts on Giustra:

Nuclear nations rush to lock in uranium deals (UUU.TO)