HOUSTON – The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is suing a local university president for infringing its First Amendment rights in relation to comments made on social media, per recent Houston federal court records.
PETA’s lawsuit accuses Texas A&M University President Michael K. Young of deleting comments the animals right organization posted to the TAMU Facebook page and blocking the plaintiff from posting additional comments.
According to court documents, the university’s actions were in response to PETA’s criticism of practices at a dog laboratory on campus.
“Specifically, TAMU censored PETA’s comments by automatically blocking certain words, including ‘PETA,’ ‘cruelty,’ and ‘lab,’ from TAMU’s Facebook page,” the suit says. “Blocking these words serves to bar posts that are essential to PETA’s message, and that TAMU knows are part of PETA’s public awareness campaign.”
PETA further accuses the defendant of committing acts that were “viewpoint-based and unreasonable, which the First Amendments prohibits in both public and non-public forums, including the comment section of TAMU’s Facebook page.”
Consequently, the complainant seeks declaratory and injunctive relief
Its lead counsel is David Greene of the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco.
Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas Case No. 4:18-CV-1547