Bill Richmond, the lawyer for BlazeTV host Steven Crowder, announced Monday he has begun filing a lawsuit against Facebook Inc. over "unfair competition, fraud, false advertising, and antitrust" violations.
The lawsuit is set to be filed this week in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and will seek injunctive relief as well as monetary damages, according to a summary of the filing posted on Crowder's website.
Richmond, who is jokingly referred to on the set as Crowder's "half-Asian lawyer," was unusually straight-faced during Monday's show as he shared details about the lawsuit, which he expects will pull him away from the show for the foreseeable future.
"This time's different," said Crowder about other minor lawsuits often filed against the platform for alleged censorship.
"The reason why it's different is because we're going after Facebook based on its own words and its own premises," Richmond added.
He pointed to a 2016 report published by Gizmodo in which former Facebook employees admitted to "routinely" suppressing conservative news. In the aftermath of that article, Facebook has publicly denied that it censors conservatives any more.
"They told Congress 'we don't do it,' they told the consumers 'we don't do it,' they told us that they don't do it," Richmond claimed on Monday, adding, "but over the course of years, we've realized they actually are doing it."
Crowder SUES Facebook! | Louder With Crowderyoutu.be
One of the main complaints focuses on "Louder with Crowder's" massively popular election night livestream, which Crowder said Facebook took down without any explanation.
Richmond added that the lawsuit is "pro-business, anti-fraud," saying, "you can run a business however you want — if you were a social media platform or any kind of business and you wanted to allow certain types of content or certain types of customers in your store or on your platform, you're allowed to do it — but what you can't do is lie."
"What you can't do is say, 'We are open to everyone, we don't discriminate based on political ideology or race or religion,' and then turn around and actually do that, both expressly and through the software that you're implementing," he said.
With the lawsuit, Richmond said he is seeking injunctive relief from Facebook or, in other words, a court order requiring the platform stop censoring content from conservative sources. In addition, the suit will seek "seven-figure monetary damages."
"The goal here is forcing honesty and clarity in policy application and enforcement," the summary post noted. "Facebook lured consumers and creators to spend money and provide data and views under the promise of not engaging in political, racial or religious bias in enforcing their policies, but they have done so both expressly and secretively, and hence, the suit."
During Monday's show, Richmond noted that he expects pushback from certain federal courts but said "we are ready and prepared to take this all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court."
This post will be updated as official court documents are made available.
Editor's Note: This article has been updated to include further relevant information about the lawsuit.