A group of free-speech lawyers filed the most serious legal challenge yet to Twitter’s censorship policies Tuesday in San Francisco County Superior Court, seeking a ruling preventing Twitter from banning users purely on the basis of their views and political associations.

The 29-page complaint contends that, under a California legal doctrine that recognizes some private facilities as “public forums,” Twitter may not discriminate against speech on their platform based purely on viewpoint.

If successful, it would be the first extension of that doctrine to internet social media platforms and could transform the way free speech is treated online.

The suit became all the more relevant Wednesday as Twitter stood accused of locking out thousands of conservatives under the guise of cracking down on “Russian bots.”

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