Crist Challenger Sues FEC for Failing to Address Twitter Concerns

May 10, 2021 by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON – Former Republican Congressional candidate Anna Paulina Luna, who ran unsuccessfully to unseat Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., last year, is suing the Federal Elections Commission saying it failed to address her concerns over her treatment by Twitter.

Luna, a former airfield manager in the U.S. Air Force and a one-time model, bested a field of four in 2020 to become the GOP’s nominee to represent U.S. House Florida District 13.

She then squared off against incumbent Democrat Charlie Crist, who beat her 53% to 47%.

In a complaint filed in the federal court in Washington, D.C., Luna claims she began asking for “verified” status of her Twitter account shortly after she became a candidate for the congressional seat in the fall of 2019, and that she and members of her campaign staff continued to communicate with the social media giant for months afterward.

However, despite obviously qualifying for “verified” status, and being in almost constant contact with Twitter, the company did nothing about her request, Luna said. In the meantime Twitter did verify opposing candidates’ accounts.

Luna claims because Twitter favored other candidates, giving them verified status on its platform, but denied her the same treatment, it violated the Federal Election Campaign Act.

This isn’t the first time Luna has been involved in a controversy involving Twitter, which, she says, consistently engaged in “content based discrimination against conservatives like herself.

“For example, Twitter temporarily locked [her] out of her account because she criticized socialism while dressed in an American military styled uniform.”

“She was also temporarily suspended from Twitter when she tweeted, “I am Hispanic, I am a NRA member, I am a veteran. I will not bend the knee to the socialist agenda to ban firearms, I took an oath to defend the people of this nation as well as the constitution.”

In her complaint, she sought to explain why the current situation she finds herself in with the social media company is, if anything, worse than what she says she has experienced in the past.

“A blue checkmark next to the account name conveys credibility and signifies it has been verified and is an account of public interest,” the complaint said.

“Verified accounts received significant boosts in engagement, including a 38% increased engagement on tweets with photos, a 16% boost on tweets with hashtags, and a 28% boost on tweets with videos,” it continues.

Further, the complaint said, “content posted from a verified Twitter account has a demonstrably

higher monetary value than content posted from un-verified accounts. Verified accounts automatically jump to the top of search results,” the complaint said.

Luna then notes that in 2018, Twitter introduced an “Election Labels” feature that contains relevant information about a political candidate, including the office

the candidate is running for, the state in which the office is located, and district

number (where applicable), and is clearly identifiable with a small icon of a

government building.”

She states that in 2018, approximately 100 million times each day, and 13% of election conversation on Twitter in the United States included a tweet from an Election Labeled account. 

“Verified Election Labeled accounts jump to the top of search results, result in higher engagement with other users, and account for a large portion of election related social media activity on Twitter. By selectively providing verification benefits to certain candidate accounts, Twitter has provided a valuable corporate funded benefit to those candidates, which is prohibited

under FECA,” the complaint said.

Unable to get satisfaction from Twitter, Luna filed an administrative complaint with the Federal Elections Commission on Oct. 22, 2020. Now, she says the agency failed to take action during the mandatory 120-day response period and is asking the court to order it to do so now.

In The News

Health

Voting

Litigation

It’s No-Go for Fireworks Show on Mount Rushmore, Judge Rules
Litigation
It’s No-Go for Fireworks Show on Mount Rushmore, Judge Rules
June 3, 2021
by Dan McCue

A federal judge in South Dakota sided with the Biden administration on Wednesday, upholding its decision to block Fourth of July fireworks at Mount Rushmore. The decision by Chief U.S. District Judge Roberto Lange temporarily ends a contentious legal battle that has been going on between... Read More

Johnson & Johnson Asks High Court to Void $2B Talc Verdict
Litigation
Johnson & Johnson Asks High Court to Void $2B Talc Verdict

WASHINGTON (AP) — Johnson & Johnson is asking for Supreme Court review of a $2 billion verdict in favor of women who claim they developed ovarian cancer from using the company's talc products. The case features an array of high-profile attorneys, some in unusual alliances, including... Read More

Judge Digs Into Apple App Store Policies as Epic Trial Ends
Technology
Judge Digs Into Apple App Store Policies as Epic Trial Ends

SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — The judge who will decide a case challenging Apple's stranglehold on its iPhone app store indicated on Monday she would like to promote more competition but without dismantling a commission system that reaps billions of dollars for the technology powerhouse.  U.S.... Read More

Second Amendment Sanctuaries Facing 1st Court Test in Oregon
In The States
Second Amendment Sanctuaries Facing 1st Court Test in Oregon

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The first court test of whether local governments can ban police from enforcing certain gun laws is playing out in a rural Oregon county, one of a wave of U.S. counties declaring itself a Second Amendment sanctuary. The measure  that voters in... Read More

Crist Challenger Sues FEC for Failing to Address Twitter Concerns
Litigation
Crist Challenger Sues FEC for Failing to Address Twitter Concerns
May 10, 2021
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - Former Republican Congressional candidate Anna Paulina Luna, who ran unsuccessfully to unseat Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., last year, is suing the Federal Elections Commission saying it failed to address her concerns over her treatment by Twitter. Luna, a former airfield manager in the U.S.... Read More

DOJ to Appeal Federal Judge Ruling on CDC Eviction Moratorium
Litigation
DOJ to Appeal Federal Judge Ruling on CDC Eviction Moratorium
May 6, 2021
by Reece Nations

WASHINGTON — After a federal judge ruled on Wednesday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention moratorium on evictions exceeded the agency's authority, the Department of Justice announced it would appeal the decision. U.S. District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich authored the 20-page opinion accompanying the ruling.... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top