Twitter Fires Back at James Woods’ Attempt to Expose Unnamed User

Actor’s defamation suit against online heckler met with scathing response from attorney for social media platform

Last Updated: August 28, 2015 @ 5:27 PM

Actor James Woods‘ attempt to sue an anonymous Twitter critic was met with a blistering response from the social media giant on Friday in a court filing much longer than 140 characters.

In late July, the “Casino” star filed a defamation suit against a Twitter user by the name “Abe List” for referring to Woods as a “cocaine addict” during a political discussion Woods was engaged in with his followers.

Woods and attorneys took their outrage to the Los Angeles Superior Court where the so-called “reckless and malicious behavior” was met with a $10 million damages price tag.

Twitter, however, isn’t letting it fly.

“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,” counsel for the social media platform said of Woods in a response filing on Friday.

“Attempts to unmask anonymous online speakers in the absence of a 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,” it continued.

Furthermore, attorneys for Abe List, named John Doe in the filing, accused Woods of “abusing the court system to lash out at a constitutionally protected political insult — the very sort of insult he routinely uses himself.”

Twitter asked the court to dismiss the suit entirely, or arrange for further briefing on First Amendment protections.

In a separate filing, Doe’s attorneys references also use Woods’ online persona as evidence against his claims.

“[On Twitter] he is known for engaging in rough-and-tumble political debate. Plaintiff routinely employs insults like “clown” and “scum,” and even accuses others of drug use as a rhetorical trope,” the paper said.

Reps for Woods and Twitter did not immediately return TheWrap’s request for comment.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report