Former President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he would file lawsuits against Twitter, Facebook, and Google after companies suspended their social media accounts six months ago over their comments after the Jan. 6 Capitol incident.
Speaking from his property in Bedminster, New Jersey, Trump and his team said the lawsuits are intended to protect the First Amendment right to free speech. They argued that their rights were denied when the Big Three tech companies banned him.
The legal action comes after the former president was permanently banned from Twitter and suspended from Facebook for at least two years over posts made in response to the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.
Twitter, Facebook, and Google said in January that they had banned Trump over his allegations that the November 3 election had been stolen and that he had allegedly contributed to the January 6 violence. Twitter executives said Trump's ban would be permanent, Facebook imposed a two-year ban on the former president's account, and Google-owned YouTube said it would reduce its suspension until it decides whether "the risk of violence has decreased."
Trump argued that social media companies "are no longer private companies" and cited Section 230 of the Protection Shield that these companies use to protect themselves from liability. Republicans have argued that federal law has allowed big tech companies to monitor their political opponents, while some have gone further, arguing that social media giants should be regulated as public services.
“This lawsuit is just the beginning,” Former President Trump said of the suits.
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Florida.
Trump said it will be the first of “numerous” other lawsuits aimed at holding "Big Tech" accountable.
Trump said Wednesday the lawsuit will aim to “at a very minimum” change the protections platforms have under Section 230, and “at a maximum” take it away.
The complaint argues the platforms threaten “potentially every citizen’s right to free speech.”
7 July 2021