Two More Courts Tell Litigants That Social Media Services Aren’t State Actors

Nov 21, 2021

Pro se litigants often claim that Internet services are state actors. Those claims have been universally rejected by courts. Yet some legislators and regulators, funded by our tax dollars, are taking the same meritless position…

Sescey v. YouTube, 2021 WL 5399916 (E.D. Pa. Nov. 18, 2021)

Based on the Complaint’s allegations, it appears the named Defendants – a private social media company and its legal department – are not subject to liability under Section 1983. Cf. Prager Univ. v. Google LLC, 951 F.3d 991, 999 9th Cir. 2020) (affirming the dismissal of a First Amendment claim because YouTube was a private entity and not a state actor); see also Rutenburg v. Twitter, Inc., No. 21-0548, 2021 WL 1338958, at *2 (N.D. Cal. Apr. 9, 2021) (“Federal courts have uniformly rejected attempts to treat similar social media companies [such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Google] as state actors under Section 1983.”) (collecting cases). Sescey does not allege Defendants are state actors or that they had any connection to a state, county, or local governmental entity. Her Complaint does not allege any facts to show a “close nexus” between the private behavior of YouTube and its legal department and the state itself such that the challenged action here can fairly be treated as an action of the state. None of Sescey’s allegations support an inference that Defendants are anything other than a privately-run social media company and its internal legal department.

Perez v. LinkedIn Corp., 2021 WL 5399885 (9th Cir. Nov. 18, 2021)

The court literally could not be bothered to explain itself beyond a cite to Prager U:

The district court properly dismissed Perez’s action because Perez failed to allege facts sufficient to state a plausible claim….see also Prager U. v. Google LLC, 951 F.3d 991, 996-97 (9th Cir. 2020) (internet media websites are not government actors under the First Amendment)…

Prior blog posts on Perez’s lawsuit (1, 2)

Selected Related Posts About State Action Claims

  • Government Jawboning Doesn’t Turn Internet Services into State Actors–Doe v. Google
  • Anti-Zionist Loses Lawsuit Over Social Media Account Suspensions–Martillo v. Facebook
  • Court Nopes Another Lawsuit Over Facebook Suspensions–Orders v. Facebook
  • Facebook Defeats Lawsuit By Publishers of Vaccine (Mis?)information–Children’s Health Defense v. Facebook
  • Court Rejects Lawsuit Alleging YouTube Engaged in Racially Biased Content Moderation–Newman v. Google
  • Yet Another Court Says Facebook Isn’t a State Actor–Brock v. Zuckerberg
  • YouTube (Again) Defeats Lawsuit Over Content Removal–Lewis v. Google
  • When It Came to @RealDonaldTrump, Twitter Couldn’t Please Everyone–Rutenberg v. Twitter
  • Another Must-Carry Lawsuit Against YouTube Fails–Daniels v Alphabet
  • Newspaper Isn’t State Actor–Plotkin v. Astorian
  • An Account Suspension Case Fails Again–Perez v. LinkedIn
  • Are Social Media Services “State Actors” or “Common Carriers”?
  • Google and Twitter Defeat Lawsuit Over Account Suspensions/Terminations–DeLima v. Google
  • More Plaintiffs (and Lawyers) Need To Be Reminded That YouTube Isn’t a State Actor–Divino v. Google
  • Facebook Isn’t a Constructive Public Trust–Cameron Atkinson v. Facebook
  • Google and YouTube Aren’t “Censoring” Breitbart Comments–Belknap v. Alphabet
  • LinkedIn Isn’t a State Actor–Perez v. LinkedIn
  • Section 230 Preempts Another Facebook Account Termination Case–Zimmerman v. Facebook
  • Section 230 Ends Demonetized YouTuber’s Lawsuit–Lewis v. Google
  • Court Rejects Another Lawsuit Alleging that Internet Companies Suppress Conservative Views–Freedom Watch v. Google
  • Another Suspended Twitter User Loses in Court–Wilson v. Twitter
  • First Voters Reject Tulsi Gabbard, Then a Judge Does–Gabbard v. Google
  • YouTube Isn’t a State Actor (DUH)–PragerU v. Google
  • Facebook Still Isn’t Obligated to Publish Russian Troll Content–FAN v. Facebook
  • Vimeo Defeats Lawsuit for Terminating Account That Posted Conversion Therapy Videos–Domen v. Vimeo
  • Russia Fucked With American Democracy, But It Can’t Fuck With Section 230–Federal Agency of News v. Facebook
  • Private Publishers Aren’t State Actors–Manhattan Community Access v. Halleck
  • Your Periodic Reminder That Facebook Isn’t a State Actor–Williby v. Zuckerberg
  • Section 230 Protects Facebook’s Account and Content Restriction Decisions–Ebeid v. Facebook
  • Court Tosses Antitrust Claims That Internet Giants Are Biased Against Conservatives–Freedom Watch v. Google
  • Twitter Isn’t a Shopping Mall for First Amendment Purposes (Duh)–Johnson v. Twitter
  • YouTube Isn’t a Company Town (Duh)–Prager University v. Google
  • Facebook Defeats Lawsuit By User Suspended Over ‘Bowling Green Massacre’–Shulman v. Facebook
  • Yelp, Twitter and Facebook Aren’t State Actors–Quigley v. Yelp
  • Facebook Not Liable for Account Termination–Young v. Facebook
  • Online Game Network Isn’t Company Town–Estavillo v. Sony
  • Third Circuit Says Google Isn’t State Actor–Jayne v. Google Founders
  • Not Liable for Search Results or Indexing Decisions–Murawski v. Pataki
  • Search Engines Defeat “Must-Carry” Lawsuit–Langdon v. Google
  • KinderStart Lawsuit Dismissed (With Leave to Amend)
  • ICANN Not a State Actor

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