Donald Trump has recently filed lawsuits against tech giants Google, Twitter and Facebook , as well as their respective CEOs. Announced at a press conference from his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, the former US president claims that he is the victim of censorship and is accusing the companies of violating his First Amendment rights.
Trump promised that the case would lead to an “end to shadow banning, a stop to the silencing and the cancelling that you know so well”. His legal team, many of whom he said come from the tobacco industry, will file the lawsuits in the Southern District of Florida and hope to obtain class action status with each one. Trump said that he will seek punitive damages from each of the companies.
The former US president called the lawsuits “a very beautiful development for our freedom of speech” and added if they could ban a president, “they can do it to anyone”. He even went as far as accusing Facebook to be “state actor” in one of the suits.
However, it may very well be an early roadblock for Trump since he decided to file the lawsuits in Florida. Twitter and Facebook made it clear in their terms of service that users who wish to take legal action must do so in a California court of select jurisdiction.
To recap, Twitter and Facebook both suspended Donald Trump as a result of the 6 January Capitol riot. Facebook currently plans to uphold the ban until at least January 2023 as the company’s Oversight Board determined that the former president’s suspension was “appropriate.” According to Twitter, the tweets that resulted in Trump’s ban for “glorification of violence” were from 8 January, two days after the rioting in the nation’s capital. The riot followed his repeated claims, without evidence, that the election was rigged in Joe Biden’s favour.
On January 8, 2021, President Donald J. Trump Tweeted:
“The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!”
The former president called the post that got him banned from Twitter, “the most loving sentence”. None of the tech companies named have yet to respond to the lawsuit.