On Monday, Laura Loomer, who is running for congress as a Republican for Florida’s District 21, filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) against Twitter. Loomer claimed that the company has made an in-kind contribution to her opponents by blocking her access from the public forum.
Loomer’s attorney, Charlie Spies, stated that “This is a first-of-its-kind complaint and takes into account the influential role that social media corporations play in our elections.”
Spies continued, “Once Ms. Loomer became a federal candidate, it became illegal for Twitter to ban her while providing free access to her Democrat opponent. Corporate owned public forums like Twitter must either provide equal time and access for all candidates for public office, or charge market value. Twitter should not be exempt from Equal Time laws, and a violation like the one occurring with Ms. Loomer is an impermissible in-kind corporate contribution to her opponent.”
The decades-standing Equal Time Laws that Spies referenced state that broadcasters must allow equal time to each political candidate that requests it. This essentially means that, in the context of social media, each candidate must be allowed equal access to the service. By blocking, or limiting, a candidate’s access to the service, they would be violating Equal Time Laws.
Spies concluded, “Twitter has become a primary method of communication for candidates and elected officials to speak directly to their supporters without the filter of the media. President Trump proved this in 2016 and continues the practice today. Twitter’s continued ban against Laura Loomer, prevents her campaign from having equal access that is required under the law.”