Chuck Johnson's Twitter Free Speech Suit Is Probably DOA

""The lawsuit is unlikely to be successful," says Neil Richards, a professor at Washington University Law School, who specializes in First Amendment theory. "But that doesn't mean there aren't really important questions about the level of power that these platforms have and the effect their policies have upon the state of free expression in our society, and by extension, how our democracy works.""

"Johnson claims that he relied on that promise, and by not holding up its side of the bargain, Twitter caused him harm. This, explains Woodrow Hartzog, a professor of law and computer science at Northeastern University, is a legal principle known as "promissory estoppel," and it's being argued with increasing frequency with regard to social media.

"Social platforms are a natural place to test some of these theories, because of the power that they have and the importance of free speech in our democracy," Hartzog says. And yet, he adds, "because it’s so broad, courts have been reluctant to embrace that theory with regard to the internet.""