Trump To Sue Facebook, Twitter, Google Over Wrongful Censorship: This Will Be The First Of “Numerous” Cases
Former President Donald Trump announced that he will lead a class-action lawsuit against social media giants Facebook, Twitter and Google as well as their respective CEOs over his claims of censorship after the three tech companies earlier banned him from their platforms following the January 6 Capitol Hill attack.
“I stand before you this morning to announce a very important … development for our freedom and freedom of speech,” Trump said from his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey on Wednesday.
“In conjunction with the America First Policy Institute, I’m filing, as the lead class-action representative, a major class-action lawsuit against the big tech giants, including Facebook, Google and Twitter, as well as their CEOs,” he continued.
“There is no better evidence that big tech is out of control than the fact that they banned the sitting president of the United States earlier this year,” the former Republican chief executive added. “If they can do it to me they can do it to anyone.”
“Our case will prove this censorship is unlawful, it’s unconstitutional and it’s completely un-American,” Trump said.
— Jason Miller (@JasonMillerinDC) July 7, 2021
Banned from Facebook, YouTube and Twitter
The lawsuit comes after the former president was permanently banned from Twitter, suspended from Facebook for at least two years, and also barred from YouTube which is owned by Google over posts he made leading to the July 6 attack.
The big tech companies alleged that Trump’s posts on their platforms triggered the Capitol Hill chaos.
Twitter earlier explained that former President Trump was permanently banned from their platform to stop the “risk of further incitement of violence” although the social media has allowed left-leaning Democrats – with a history of calling for violence against conservatives to remain on the platform.
“After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them – specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter – we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” Twitter said then about its decision to deplatform the sitting US president.
But Republicans and Trump himself have maintained that these companies are unfairly targeting conservatives and censoring them, pointing out how dictators and communist leaders worldwide are still allowed on the platform.
Several Democrats who have publicly called on their supporters to get more confrontational with Republicans in public are also still provided a platform by these Silicon Valley-based social media giants.
Trump’s class-action lawsuit
Meanwhile, former President Trump said the lawsuit will be filed in the Southern District of Florida, seeking “injunctive relief” against “shameful censorship of the American people.”
Former President Donald Trump is expected to announce a class-action lawsuit against Facebook, Twitter and Google. Trump will serve as the lead plaintiff in the suit, claiming he has been wrongfully censored by the companies, a source told @AP. https://t.co/UQTkgSDBq0
— The Associated Press (@AP) July 7, 2021
“While the social media companies are officially private entities, in recent years they have ceased to be private with the enactment and their historical use of Section 230, which profoundly protects them from liability,” Trump said.
“It is in effect a massive government subsidy, these companies have been co-opted, coerced and weaponized by government actors to become the enforcers of illegal, unconstitutional censorship,” he noted, adding that these left-leaning social media companies serve as “the de facto censorship arm of the U.S. government.”
Trump then noted how this censorship was “especially clear during the pandemic” – when policies contradict health experts and that the big tech suppressed information alleging that the coronavirus originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Trump said the lawsuit – which argues the platforms have “increasingly engaged in impermissible censorship resulting from threatened legislative action, a misguided reliance upon Section 230” – will be the first of “numerous” other cases aimed at holding big tech companies accountable.
The Communications Decency Act’s Section 230 is a contentious clause that protects platforms from legal accountability for third-party information uploaded on their platform. During Trump’s presidency, he also attempted to repeal this provision to stop the “free-reign” of the big tech amid increasing concerns of censorship mostly from conservative users.
The former president noted that the class-action that he is leading aims to “at a very minimum” change the protections platforms have under Section 230, and “at a maximum” take it away as the complaint charges on how the current state
The complaint argues the platforms threaten “every citizen’s right to free speech.”
Trump’s lawsuit is backed by the America First Policy Institute (AFPI). Its President and CEO Brooke Rollins blasted “progressives” and “elites” when the lawsuit was introduced.
“It’s no surprise then that they want the First Amendment gone,” Rollins said. “They don’t advocate for abolition … but they do advocate for curtailing it into meaninglessness. Nowhere is that more evident than in the suppression of First Amendment rights online,” she said.
AFPI’s Pam Bondi – also former Florida Attorney General – noted that the lawsuit against the big tech firms is aimed at promoting the free speech of every American.
“This isn’t just for conservatives, this is for our media… this is for Democrats and even progressives whose speech should be protected under the First Amendment,” she added.
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