By Eric Striker | 18 July 2020
NATIONAL JUSTICE — A potential mechanism for punishing tech censorship has materialized.
Nationalist comedian Owen Benjamin and 72 of his fans have won a tentative decision under California’s arbitration law, which was amended by legislation signed by Governor Gavin Newsom in October 2019 to put the burden of fees in disputes on the party setting terms.
Prior to January 2020, Patreon’s Terms of Service encouraged disagreements to be settled via arbitration under the assumption that the money and time required would discourage consumers from even trying.
In the case against Patreon, the matter in need of arbitration is related to the company’s abrupt banning of Benjamin’s page for political reasons. Benjamin and his fans argue that the deplatforming amounts to tortious interference in their business contract. Thanks to Patreon, Benjamin cannot comply with his contractual obligation of providing content for money to his followers due to the tech platform failing in its role as financial middleman. Benjamin is asking for $3.5 million in damages. […]