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Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Republican Rep. Devin Nunes filed a lawsuit against Twitter Monday, seeking $250 million in compensatory damages and $350,000 in punitive damages for "shadow-banning” some conservatives users including himself to influence last year’s midterm elections, Fox News reports.

Our thought bubble, per Axios' Sara Fischer: There’s been no substantial proof that the engineers at any of the big tech platforms have systemic bias against one political ideology over another when building algorithms. But Republicans in Congress have alleged that bias exists for some time, including in nationally-televised hearings.

  • It could be that by doing so, Republicans are able to create a narrative that the Big Tech establishment, which is largely viewed as progressive and idealistic, is rigged against them.

Details: The suit claims that Twitter is biased against conservatives while "knowingly hosting and monetizing content that is clearly abusive, hateful and defamatory —providing both a voice and financial incentive to the defamers — thereby facilitating defamation on its platform." It also seeks a ruling to require Twitter to release the identities behind numerous accounts Nunes said have harassed and defamed him.

  • Those accounts include anonymous users "Devin Nunes' Mom" and "Devin Nunes' Cow." The complaint states: "In her endless barrage of tweets, Devin Nunes’ Mom maliciously attacked every aspect of Nunes’ character, honesty, integrity, ethics and fitness to perform his duties as a United States Congressman."
  • Nunes' lawyers go on to write: "As part of its agenda to squelch Nunes’ voice, cause him extreme pain and suffering, influence the 2018 Congressional election, and distract, intimidate and interfere with Nunes’ investigation into corruption and Russian involvement in the 2016 Presidential Election, Twitter did absolutely nothing."

Go deeper

Ipsos poll: COVID trick-or-treat

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note ±3.3% margin of error for the total sample size; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

About half of Americans are worried that trick-or-treating will spread coronavirus in their communities, according to this week's installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: This may seem like more evidence that the pandemic is curbing our nation's cherished pastimes. But a closer look reveals something more nuanced about Americans' increased acceptance for risk around activities in which they want to participate.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: The good and bad news about antibody therapies — Fauci: Hotspots have materialized across "the entire country."
  2. World: Belgium imposes lockdown, citing "health emergency" due to influx of cases.
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Education: Surge threatens to shut classrooms down again.
  5. Technology: The pandemic isn't slowing tech.
  6. Travel: CDC replaces COVID-19 cruise ban with less restrictive "conditional sailing order."
  7. Sports: High school football's pandemic struggles.
  8. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.
Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Updated 10 hours ago - Economy & Business

Dunkin' Brands agrees to $11B Inspire Brands sale

Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Dunkin' Brands, operator of both Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, agreed on Friday to be taken private for nearly $11.3 billion, including debt, by Inspire Brands, a restaurant platform sponsored by private equity firm Roark Capital.

Why it matters: Buying Dunkin’ will more than double Inspire’s footprint, making it one of the biggest restaurant deals in the past 10 years. This could ultimately set up an IPO for Inspire, which already owns Arby's, Jimmy John's and Buffalo Wild Wings.