The 3rd Circuit US Court of Appeals has effectively squashed any further action by one Amro Elansari, a RuneScape player who claimed that Jagex’s muting of him in-game was a violation of his right to free speech.
Readers will recall that the original case, as heard by U.S. Eastern District Judge Mark A. Kearney, was thrown out on the grounds that free speech protection applies only to government parties and not private companies, which have the authority to not provide people a platform for whatever bile they speak or type out. Elansari attempted to appeal the case in a hand-written lawsuit, asking for damages in the amount of “whatever the jury sees fit” as well as a removal of the muting.
The circuit judges ultimately reasoned that Elansari’s treatment was nothing unique to others who had been similarly muted and that nothing that happened to him was anything close to a violation of federal anti-discrimination laws. So let this whole thing be yet another nice reminder that free speech does not mean speech without consequences on a privately owned platform.