Former President Donald Trump announced Wednesday he is filing lawsuits against Twitter, Facebook, and Google after the firms suspended his social media accounts six months ago over his comments after the Jan. 6 Capitol incident.
Speaking from his property in Bedminster, New Jersey, Trump and his team said the lawsuits are about protecting the First Amendment right to free speech. They argued that his rights were denied when the three big tech companies banned him.
Trump described the “major” lawsuits as a “very beautiful development” to protect free speech in the United States. The suits will be filed U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Florida and will ask a judge to order an immediate halt to social media companies’ alleged shadowbanning, censoring, blacklisting, and canceling of people who express political viewpoints outside the mainstream.
“It’s destroying the country,” Trump said of social media’s alleged control over political discourse.
Twitter, Facebook, and Google said in January they banned Trump over his claims that the Nov. 3 election was stolen and alleged he contributed to the Jan. 6 violence. Twitter executives have said Trump’s ban will be permanent, Facebook imposed a two-year ban on the former president’s account, and Google-owned YouTube has said it would curtail his suspension until it has determined if “the risk of violence has decreased.”
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey were named in the lawsuits—as well as the companies themselves. Trump said the lawsuits will try to compel the court to award him punitive damages over the suspension.
Trump argued that social media companies have “ceased to be private” companies and cited the Section 230 protection shield that such firms employ to protect themselves from liability. Republicans have argued that the federal rule has allowed Big Tech firms to censor their political opponents—while some have gone further, arguing that social media giants should be regulated as utilities. – READ MORE
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