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Rep. Devin Nunes at CPAC 2019. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Rep. Devin Nunes' defamation suit — the one pitting him against Twitter, a conservative pundit and a fake cow — is not an easy case for the California Republican to win on any count. But it will be particularly difficult to win against Twitter.

The big picture: Legal experts Axios spoke to do not think Nunes will be able to show that any of the insults on Twitter were defamation; hyperbolic trash-talking is already exempt from defamation. But there's a second level of difficulty with suing Twitter: the federal code known as Section 230.

Details: "Section 230 in the Federal code essentially says an internet provider is not the publisher," said attorney Mark Jaffe, the Mark in TorMark Law.

  • Section 230 protects the infrastructure that transmits a message from defamation suits.
  • People who feel defamed can sue an "information content provider" who is responsible for the content.
  • Jaffe differentiates the two like this: If the New York Times publishes an article, it's the content provider for the article. If someone posts a comment to the article, the Times is serving as an internet provider for the comment.
  • "The Nunes case on its face is what section 230 is talking about," said Jaffe.

The intrigue: In the court documents, Nunes' lawyer tries to make the case that, since Twitter shows liberal bias (an argument favored by conservatives but unsupported by evidence) and moderates posts, it is an information content provider.

  • "This is the kind of argument that repeatedly gets dumped," said Jaffe. "Just being aware of the accounts and not taking the accounts down does not make Twitter an information content provider. It's allowed to moderate accounts without being an information content provider, but not required to."

Go deeper: Devin Nunes suing Twitter over anti-conservative "shadow bans"

Go deeper

Cuomo: "No way I resign" after sexual harassment accusations

Cuomo at a Feb. 24 press conference. Photo: Seth Wenig/pool/AFP via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) was defiant on Sunday, stating again that he would not resign even as more former aides have come forward with allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior.

The big picture: Cuomo has denied all sexual harassment allegations against him and said that he "never inappropriately touched anybody." He acknowledged in a statement that "some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation." Some of the calls for Cuomo to resign have come from within the Democratic party.

N.Y. Times faces culture clashes as business booms

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

New York Times columnist David Brooks' resignation from a paid gig at a think tank on Saturday is the latest in a flurry of scandals that America's biggest and most successful newspaper company has endured in the past year.

Driving the news: Brooks resigned from the Aspen Institute following a BuzzFeed News investigation that uncovered conflicts of interest between his reporting and money he accepted from corporate donors for a project called "Weave" that he worked on at the nonprofit.

America rebalances its post-Trump news diet

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Nearly halfway through President Biden's first 100 days, data shows that Americans are learning to wean themselves off of news — and especially politics.

Why it matters: The departure of former President Trump's once-ubiquitous presence in the news cycle has reoriented the country's attention.