Ever since Donald Trump was banned from virtually all of his social media accounts, his online presence has been hampered severely. He even tried to launch his own “social media” page, but that failed catastrophically. Now, however, Trump is after the big tech companies to get back at them once and for all. He has decided to sue Facebook, Twitter, and Google and wants his social media accounts restored.
Trump’s Twitter, Facebook, and Google accounts were shut down after he incited violence through those accounts on the day of the Capitol Hill riots. Trump already had a long-standing feud with Twitter and Jack Dorsey, ever since the platform started to censor some of his tweets for spreading misinformation, especially related to the validity of the 2020 US Elections, which he lost to the current US President Joe Biden. After the riots, all major platforms deleted his accounts altogether. And ever since then, Trump has been launching a polemic against these tech giants, blaming them for censorship and curbing his First Amendment Rights.
In a press conference on Wednesday, Trump made the big announcement in front of the press at his Bedminster, New Jersey golf club. He started his speech with:
I just want to say that I stand before you this morning to announce a very important and very beautiful I think development for our freedom and our freedom of speech and that goes to all Americans. Today in conjunction with the America First policy Institute I’m filing as the lead class representative, a major class-action lawsuit against the big tech giants, including Facebook, Google, and Twitter as well as their CEOs, Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai, and Jack Dorsey.
What does Donald Trump want out of this lawsuit?
There was a round of applause for the Former US President, after which he detailed the purpose of this lawsuit. Trump wants “to order an immediate halt to social media companies for legal shameful censorship of the American people”. He also listed his demands from the tech giants. In particular, he is “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”. He envisions his case to prove that any kind of suspension from these websites is illegal, saying:
Our case will prove this censorship is unlawful. It’s unconstitutional, and it’s completely un-American.
Furthermore, Donald Trump said that this is just “the first of numerous other lawsuits”. Moreover, he’ll also be seeking “punitive damages” from these companies. Trump also believes that this lawsuit will set important precedence in the legal history of the United States. Through this lawsuit, Trump believes he’ll be preserving the right to freedom of speech, as prescribed by the First Amendment. He said:
This is a very, very important game-changer for our country. It will be a pivotal battle in the defense of the First Amendment and, in the end, I am confident that we will achieve a historic victory for American freedom and at the same time, freedom of speech
As far as the verdict and the proceedings are concerned, Trump doesn’t know how the case will pan out. But, he is certain about one thing – he won’t settle. He said:
We’re not looking to settle. We don’t know what’s going to happen but we’re not looking to settle.
You can watch his complete press conference below:
Reaction to the lawsuit
As far as the public’s reaction is concerned, more people are mocking Donald Trump for this lawsuit. George Conway, the husband of Trump’s former aide Kellyanne Conway, has called it “as stupid as you’d think”.
Furthermore, others criticized Trump for blocking critics on social media during his tenure as President. Columbia University’s Jameel Jaffer tweeted:
In what constitution universe can it be the case that Trump wasn’t a state actor when he blocked critics from his social media accounts but the social media companies were state actors when they blocked him?
Another critic highlighted that Trump was also trying to fundraise money for his lawsuit.
What do you think of Donald Trump’s lawsuit on social media companies? Are his First Amendment rights being violated? Let us know in the comments below.