Satanic group says Twitter discriminated against it

A Salem, Massachusetts-based organization called The Satanic Temple is accusing Twitter of discriminating against it on religious grounds.

Satanic Temple founder Lucien Greaves filed a complaint in March with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, saying Twitter wrongly suspended its accounts after someone tweeted a threat to the organization.

The Boston Globe reports Twitter has restored the accounts but without the “verified” status Greaves wants.

An attorney for Greaves says the standards used by Twitter to determine its suspensions and verifications of users is colored by its favoritism toward groups that share the social network’s views. The organization’s Twitter account states that “Satan stands as the ultimate icon for the selfless revolt against tyranny, free & rational inquiry, and the responsible pursuit of happiness.”

Twitter says an account is verified if it’s determined to be of public interest.  

The Satanic Temple’s building is zoned as an art gallery and is open to the public with art installations, lectures and film screenings. 

A fundraising page touting its fight against Twitter features $50 tote bags sporting a three moons logo and a $1,000 “sponsorship” opportunity to have a name engraved on the back of a Baphomet statue. As of Wednesday, a little over $2,000 had been raised for a legal campaign with a stated goal of $50,000.

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