Hawaii representative and Democratic presidential hopeful Tulsi Gabbard, last July, filed a lawsuit against Google. Tulsi Gabbard accused the company of violating her First Amendment privilege to free speech when that briefly delayed her campaign’s ad account. The Central District Court of California ultimately rejected the suit.
Gabbard’s campaign asked for $50 million in damages from Google because of serious and continuing encroachment of her right to free speech. In the suit, Tulsi’s campaign claimed that Google aids in running elections through political advertising and search results. This argument was firmly rejected by District Judge Stephen Wilson.
In declining the case, Wilson explains that what Tulsi failed to establish was how the regulations of Google were in any way equal to governmental regulation of an election. When it is about Google, ‘a universally private company, the First Amendment’s free speech protections didn’t apply. A week earlier, another California court drew a similar conclusion in the case that right-wing group PragerU had brought against YouTube.
Her account was suspended for an interval of time in a case of poor timing after the first presidential debate. It is because the viewers sought information about that unfamiliar candidate. In the lawsuit, Gabbard wrote that Google took her advertising account offline.
The suit stated that since at least June 2019, Google had utilized the control over online political speech to silence Tulsi, who is a candidate, millions of Americans want to hear from.
In a statement, Gabbard said that was a threat to free speech, fair elections as well as to their democracy. She intended to fight back on behalf of all the Americans.