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Trump sues Facebook, Google and Twitter over ‘censorship’ of conservatives


Trump sues Facebook, Google and Twitter over ‘censorship’ of conservatives


Former President Donald Trump is suing Facebook, Twitter, and Google’s YouTube for suspending his accounts after a January assault on the United States Capitol by a mob of his fans.

Trump said on Wednesday that he will lead class lawsuits against Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, as well as their respective Big Tech platforms.

The suits, filed in U.S. District Court in Miami, claim that the California-based social media companies violated the First Amendment right to free expression granted by the United States Constitution.

Trump says the Silicon Valley firms “engaged in impermissible censorship,” according to court documents obtained by TMZ. He accuses them of hiding behind Section 230… the internet legislation that shields internet firms from legal action based on content moderation judgments.

Legal experts and industry groups slammed the charges right away, anticipating that they would fail in court.

The lawsuits ask the court to “to order an immediate halt to social media companies’ illegal, shameful censorship of the American people,” Trump said at a press conference at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club. “We’re demanding an end to the shadow banning, a stop to the silencing and a stop to the blacklisting, banishing and canceling that you know so well.”


“It will be a pivotal battle in the defence of the First Amendment. And in the end, I’m confident that we will achieve a historic victory for American freedom and at the same time, freedom of speech,” Trump said.

In the aftermath of the Capitol riot, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who is a named defendant, barred Trump from the site, claiming that it was too dangerous for America for Trump to stay on the platform. The prohibition has been extended until early 2023.

Hundreds of similar cases have failed in court, according to Eric Goldman, a professor at Santa Clara University Law School in California. Trump, he claims, is “playing a standard media game.”

“It fits into a broader pattern of the former president bringing lawsuits and then not vigorously pursuing them.”

“There’s no way a plaintiff has been able to get traction in the past, and there’s no way that Trump is going to be able to get traction either,” he said.

The long-shot legal proceedings are the latest in Trump’s long-running conflict with the social media sites he utilized extensively before and during his administration.

Following the assault of Capitol Hill on January 6, Twitter banned Trump from its platform indefinitely, citing multiple breaches of its moderation rules and the danger that he would use it to encourage more violence.

Last week, a federal court in Florida halted a newly passed state legislation that was intended to allow the state to punish social media firms that block political candidates, claiming that the statute likely violated free speech rights.

Trump further alleges that the businesses have waged “an aggressive campaign of censorship against a multitude of [conservatives] through censorship (flagging, shadow banning, etc.) resulting from legislative coercion.”

The cases, according to Paul Barret, deputy director of the New York University Stern Center for Business and Human Rights, were doomed from the start.

“Trump has the First Amendment argument exactly wrong,” he said in a statement. “In fact, Facebook and Twitter themselves have a First Amendment free speech right to determine what speech their platforms project and amplify — and that right includes excluding speakers who incite violence, as Trump did in connection with the January 6 Capitol insurrection.”

Trump also wants the court to rule that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a federal statute, is unconstitutional. According to the 1996 legislation, internet sites are not legally liable for anything their users publish. While in office, Trump issued an executive order trying to deprive social media firms of Section 230 protection in retribution for Twitter’s fact-checking of his tweets. The order has been rescinded by President Biden.

The charges in each instance claim that Democratic lawmakers “coerced” the various platforms by openly asking for the ex-president and others to be banned and threatening them with regulatory and antitrust breakups.

Trump is asking the court to compel the internet conglomerates to restore his and others’ accounts.

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