PETA sues Texas A&M president, says university blocked them on Facebook over dog research comments


The animal rights activist group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is suing Texas A&M University President Michael K. Young, alleging that the university blocked the group on Facebook and calling the move a violation of the First Amendment.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which filed the lawsuit Monday on behalf of PETA, said it believes Texas A&M has deleted or blocked comments PETA tried to post to the university’s Facebook page. 

According to the suit, the comments criticized a university researcher’s testing on dogs that PETA believes is cruel and inhumane. Texas A&M censored PETA’s comments by automatically blocking certain words, including “PETA,” “cruelty” and “lab” from its Facebook page, the suit says.

Texas A&M could not immediately be reached for comment. 

The university has previously said that the dogs in its research are treated with care and that the research seeks to cure Duchenne muscular dystrophy. 

The suit says PETA discovered through trial and error that certain words were blocked. PETA staff first noticed in December that its comments against the research involving dogs weren’t showing up on Texas A&M’s Facebook page. A PETA staffer was able to write “TAMU rules! Go Aggies” on the page, but her post “Shut the cruel Muscular Dystrophy dog lab down NOW! This is torture!” did not show up, the suit says.

PETA argues in the lawsuit that this violates the First Amendment because it is viewpoint-based discrimination and “it impedes PETA’s ability to petition the government for redress of grievances.”

The lawsuit requests that a judge allow PETA to re-post its content to the Facebook page and prohibit Texas A&M from using automated filtering technology to block these sorts of posts. 


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Army veteran drowns while saving fiancee's daughter
Army veteran drowns while saving fiancee's daughter

An Army Reserve member drowned in a Texas lake Saturday as he tried to save his fiancee's 6-year-old daughter, The Dallas Morning News reported. Brandyn Mitchell, 25, dove into Lake Ray Roberts near the north Texas city of Denton to help Keira Herrera get back onto a flotation device, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. "He was already...
Shooting reported in Panama City, Florida
Shooting reported in Panama City, Florida

Police responded Tuesday afternoon to reports of a shooting in Panama City, Florida, according to multiple reports. Multiple agencies were responding to the situation in the 2300 block of Beck Avenue, including the Walton County Sheriff's Office, WJHG reported. Update 2:40 p.m. EDT: Walton County sheriff’s deputies confirmed that a shooting...
Bar owner from Austin accused of raping customer in Fort Worth, police say
Bar owner from Austin accused of raping customer in Fort Worth, police say

An Austin man is accused of sexually assaulting a patron last December at a bar he owns in Fort Worth, according to an arrest affidavit filed in Tarrant County. Israel Espiricueta, 41, the owner of the Library Bar in downtown Fort Worth, was arrested in Travis County on Feb. 5 for sexual assault and released from jail after posting $10,000 bond, according...
Travis County tax assessor Elfant responds to fraud investigation
Travis County tax assessor Elfant responds to fraud investigation

Responding to a multiagency investigation of fraud that authorities said was carried out in part by four Travis County tax office employees, assessor-collector Bruce Elfant said Tuesday he is committed to renewing his unit’s integrity. “I fully expect that I will be judged by my response to this abhorrent situation, and I promise to do...
Houston Texans star J.J. Watt visits Santa Fe High School shooting victims 
Houston Texans star J.J. Watt visits Santa Fe High School shooting victims 

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt continues to make an impact in the wake of the mass shooting at a southeastern Texas high school, KTRK reported. Watt visited some of the victims injured in the deadly shooting at Santa Fe High School on Monday and took photographs with them and their nurses at the hospital. He also visited several victims...
More Stories