New York, Jul 7 (EFE).- Former President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that had filed a class action lawsuit against Facebook, Google and Twitter and their CEOs to force them to rescind their bans on his social accounts with them, something he considers to be censorship and an attack on his “freedom of expression.”
At a press conference at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, on Wednesday, Trump said that he will seek to prove the illegality of the tech giants’ ban on his accounts but will also seek to defend the First Amendment.
The three tech firms – headed by Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Sundar Pichai (Google) and Jack Dorsey (Twitter) – suspended Trump’s social accounts with them in January over public safety concerns after the Jan. 6 invasion of the US Capitol by the former president’s supporters. Trump has called the ban “censorship” and “abuse.”
At his press conference, Trump said the pending lawsuit was “a very beautiful development for our freedom of speech,” adding that “We are demanding an end to the shadow-banning, a stop to the silencing, and a stop to the blacklisting, banishing, and cancelling that you know so well.”
“Social media is working to suppress the views of the American people,” Trump said. “It’s censorship at the highest level … You’ll be seeing this in this lawsuit.”
Trump said that if the social network giants could prohibit an ex-president from posting on their platforms, “they can do it to anyone,” going on to lambaste both social media companies and Democrats, accusing them of spreading misinformation.
So far, none of the three firms have commented on the lawsuit, which Trump filed in a federal court in Florida.
The suit is being supported by the America First Policy Institute, a non-profit which gathers together politicians supporting Trump’s ideological stance and former members of his Cabinet. The ex-president said that his legal team working on the lawsuit will include attorneys who have defended tobacco companies.
He said that the case will prove that banning him from the social networks is “illegal, unconstitutional” and completely un-American, claiming that he wants “restitution and … restoration” and for the court to impose “punitive damages” on the tech giants, who he called “censorship arms of the (US) government.
He also said that this will be the first of many lawsuits against the tech companies, adding that he intends to change the country and wage a crucial battle in defense of First Amendment rights.
The former president said he was certain that he and his legal team will prevail in the suit, and he invited others – including Democrats – to join it under the argument that the big tech firms have allied with the government to decide what is disinformation and that within a few years Democrats themselves could become victims.
Accompanying Trump at the press conference were several other people who have been suspended from the social networks, including Pam Bondi, a former Florida attorney general and member of the legal team that defended Trump at his first 2020 impeachment.