A computer repair shop owner who Hunter Biden handed his laptops over to in April 2019 is suing Twitter for defamation, claiming moderators labeled him a hacker.
John Paul Mac Isaac is seeking $500 million in damages from Twitter after The New York Post’s story about Biden, obtained from the 50-year-old’s laptop, was labeled as potentially coming from hacked material.
Facebook and Twitter both restricted viewing of the Post’s story, and Twitter pointed to its ban on posting ‘hacked materials’ as an explanation.
Mac Isaac claims, according to The Verge, that Twitter specifically made this decision to ‘communicate to the world that [Mac Isaac] is a hacker.’
He says that his business began to receive threats and negative reviews after Twitter’s moderation decision, and that he is ‘now widely considered a hacker’ because of Twitter.
Ignore the Hunter Biden connection and the ridiculous dollar amount. This is a case where Twitter employees – not Twitter users – specifically labeled this guy a hacker and damaged his reputation and livelihood. The facts of the case are self-evident. So the court will have to decide if a company like Twitter can be held liable for the defamatory actions of its employees. In a normal world, this seems like it would be a slam dunk. After all, if a company like Microsoft or General Mills had their employees defame someone in public, they could be held accountable. But in today’s hyper-charged environment, who knows?