Former President Donald Trump announced class-action lawsuits against Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Wednesday after being kicked off multiple social media platforms earlier this year.
“We’re asking the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida to order an immediate halt to social media companies illegal, shameful censorship of the American people and that’s exactly what they are doing,” Trump said Wednesday in a press conference.
“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,” Trump continued. “Our case will prove this censorship is unlawful, it’s unconstitutional, and it’s completely un-American.”
The America First Policy Institute, a nonprofit created by former Trump administration personnel earlier this year, will reportedly support Trump’s legal efforts. The class action lawsuit allows Trump to represent a larger group of people who he claims have been censored as a result of biased policies.
“This is going to be a very, very important game changer for our country,” Mr. Trump said. “It will be a pivotal battle in the defense 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.”
Mr. Trump was banned from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram in the wake of the January 6 storming of Capitol Hill while he was still President of the United States.
Twitter permanently suspended then-President Trump’s account due to alleged “risk of further incitement of violence.”
“This determination is based on a number of factors, including:
President Trump’s statement that he will not be attending the Inauguration is being received by a number of his supporters as further confirmation that the election was not legitimate,” Twitter said in a statement.
The statement continued, “The use of the words “American Patriots” to describe some of his supporters is also being interpreted as support for those committing violent acts at the US Capitol.”
Also in January, Facebook suspended Trump from its platform because, at the time, the “risks of allowing the President” to post on Facebook for the remainder of his term “are simply too great,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg asserted.
During the press conference, Mr. Trump was asked how he plans to fight the argument that Facebook, Twitter and Google are private companies, Trump echoed earlier comments from his team asserting they are no longer private companies due to their “collusion” with government entities.
“Well, they say that they’re private but they’re no longer private,” Trump said.
Pam Boni, fmr. Florida attorney general and member of America First Policy constitutional litigation team, explained, “When you have Mark Zuckerberg and others being called in front of Congress and being coerced and being questioned by all these congressmen, and then you also have Mark Zuckerberg emailing with Dr. Fauci about COVID…a private company is communicating with the federal government and parts of that were redacted,” she continued. “[The social media companies] are not immune [under Section 230] anymore.”
“It was coercion, collusion, working together, and they cannot hide from the First Amendment.”