The Satanic Temple (TST) has filed legal papers with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination alleging that Twitter has engaged in a pattern of religiously discriminatory actions. TST has repeatedly shown that they expect the same legal rights that are afforded to other religious organizations and will seek legal recourse to protect those rights.
The complaint asserts that Twitter refused to take action against an individual who called for setting fire to The Satanic Temple headquarters and instead, without any justification, suspended both the accounts of TST and TST’s spokesperson and cofounder, Lucien Greaves. In addition, Twitter ignored requests to verify the accounts of TST and Lucien Greaves. The complaint charges Twitter with discrimination in a public accommodation on the basis of religion and unlawful retaliation.
According to Greaves, “The failure of Twitter to verify both accounts, which both clearly meet Twitter’s documented standards for verification, compounded by the suspension of the accounts clearly demonstrates a pattern of hostile discriminatory behavior engaged in by Twitter against The Satanic Temple. It reveals the biased human agency behind a facade of neutral and evenly enforced standards.”
While Twitter lifted the suspensions of both the TST and Lucien Greaves accounts after their actions were exposed in mass media, they still have not verified the accounts of either while failing to justify their refusal. The complaint charges Twitter with discrimination in a public accommodation on the basis of religion and unlawful retaliation.
Greaves notes that, “Given the importance of social media platforms, and the outsized power that so few social media giants like Twitter hold over a users’ community and business presences, these platforms should reasonably be expected to responsibly and evenly uphold their Terms of Service in a non-biased fashion free of discrimination and inexplicable arbitrary pettiness. To ignore Twitter’s blatant discrimination against The Satanic Temple is to yield ourselves to regressive new world of acceptable online violations against Civil Liberties.”
TST is being represented by the Randazza Legal Group, which is known for its First Amendment practice. Managing who handle First Amendment and intellectual property complaints. Partner and founder, Marc J. Randazza said, “Freedom of Expression is for everyone, or it is for no one. I remember when Twitter proclaimed that it was in favor of freedom of expression. Since then, it had a change of heart, and now it seems to think that freedom of expression should only exist for its members who adhere to the correct politics – and now the correct religion. We should not abide Twitter’s arrogance and disdain for American values, like freedom of religion. We hope that the Commission on Discrimination sees this for what it is – Twitter engaging in religious discrimination – and that it takes appropriate corrective action.”