Back at the end of July, famous movie villain and gross internet person James Woods declared he was suing a Twitter user for $10 million dollars. The possibly pseudonymous Abe List responded to some of Woods’ hateful word vomit by calling him a cocaine addict, an insult Woods is not taking lightly. For the record, here’s Woods’ tweet:
USATODAY app features Bruce Jenner's latest dress selection, but makes zero mention of Planned Parenthood baby parts market.— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) July 15, 2015
Now, I’m just guessing, but I’d assume the reason for this is because Caitlyn Jenner launched a national (and beyond) conversation about transgender issues, and the other is a thing that’s not real. That may be the reason behind that USA Today app preference. Either way, Abe tweeted this response to Woods, also looping in Ben Shapiro, the editor for the vile site Breitbart: “cocaine addict James Woods still sniffing and spouting.” Abe had tweeted at James Woods before, calling him (as listed in the lawsuit) ‘prick,’ ‘joke,’ ‘ridiculous,’ ‘scum’ and ‘clown-boy.’ All of those, however, are just insults. Woods is claiming that calling him a cocaine addict (despite the fact that Woods voices a cocaine-loving version of himself on Family Guy) is defamation.
The problem, of course, with suing an anonymous Twitter user is that, well… they’re anonymous. So Woods has served Twitter with a subpoena to reveal Abe’s identity, along with another user named T.G. Emerson who called the actor a “notorious coke fiend and registered sex offender.”. To which Twitter basically responded, “Eff you.” The site’s lawyers criticized Woods’ lawsuit for being “vague, overbroad, and unduly burdensome.” They also told Woods to stop being such a baby and to maybe also not be such a troll all the time if he doesn’t want people to say mean things at him. But, you know, politely.
The speech at issue appears to be opinion and hyperbole rather than a statement of fact. Further, the target of the speech is a public figure who purposefully injects himself into public controversies, and there has been no showing of actual malice. Attempts to unmask anonymous online speakers in the absence of a prima facie defamation claim are improper and would chill the First Amendment rights of speakers who use Twitter’s platform to express their thoughts and ideas instantly and publicly, without barriers.
Yes, James Woods, if you insist on being a piece of human garbage who deliberately misgenders people and tries to convince your followers that Planned Parenthood is getting rich off of some sort of fetus black market, then everyone gets to call you a cocaine addict. That’s how that works. (Not that WE would ever actually do that and definitely at no point in this article did we say James Woods has done cocaine. Nope, we would never ever say James Woods is an asshole who does a lot of cocaine. So no suing, okay, James Woods?)