Wikileaks just got served with a tweet.
On Friday, the law firm representing the Democratic National Committee served Wikileaks with a single tweet, linking to a number of legal documents related to its lawsuit against the organization founded by Julian Assange.
Cohen Milstein, the firm representing the DNC, set up the Twitter account @ProcessServiceC just this August, and fired off that single tweet — the account’s first and only posting so far — at Wikileaks today, effectively serving them with the lawsuit.
In April, the DNC filed a lawsuit against Russia, the Trump campaign, and Wikileaks, alleging a conspiracy to influence the 2016 presidential election for Donald Trump. Three months later, the DNC filed a motion at a federal court in Manhattan requesting permission to serve Wikileaks with the complaint over Twitter. Being that the Wikileaks account tweets daily on the platform and “has more of a virtual than a physical presence,” the DNC argued, the court should authorize service via Twitter.
The Wikileaks account, which posts regularly and is fairly active, had even previously claimed it read the DNC lawsuit and wrote about it on Twitter.
Democrats have gone all Scientology against @WikiLeaks. We read the DNC lawsuit. Its primary claim against @WikiLeaks is that we published their “trade secrets”. Scientology infamously tried this trick when we published their secret bibles. Didn’t work out well for them. pic.twitter.com/NfCJEMiPCo
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) April 22, 2018
Shockingly, there is legal precedent to serving a lawsuit over Twitter, as the DNC argued. The motion cited a U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California decision in 2016, which approved of serving a defendant over Twitter because he had an active Twitter account.
In that case, one of the defendants being sued by the nonprofit group St. Francis Assisi for allegedly funding ISIS was an overseas Kuwaiti national. The group was unable to locate this man. Because of his “large following,” active Twitter account, and use of the platform to fundraise, a judge approved of serving the lawsuit over Twitter.
Twitter isn’t the only social media platform that someone has been served over. Back in 2014, a family court judge ruled that a man could serve his ex-wife over Facebook because she had an active account there. And, just earlier this year, a lawyer in Toronto obtained an order to serve a defendant over Instagram.