Trump on Big Tech lawsuit: ‘If they can do it to me, they can do it to you’

Former President Trump on Thursday said he is suing Big Tech companies because they have “teamed up with government to censor the free speech of the American people,” warning in an op-ed that “if they can do it to me, they can do it to you.”

Trump announced on Wednesday that he is leading a class-action lawsuit against Facebook, Twitter and Google, in addition to their CEOs, over claims of censorship after the companies suspended and banned his accounts.

The legal action was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. It is backed by the America First Policy Institute, a nonprofit that focuses on advancing Trump’s policies.

The former president was permanently banned from Twitter and suspended from Facebook for at least two years in response to posts he made regarding the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.

The lawsuit, however, is expected to be dismissed fairly quickly. Legal experts told The Hill that the case is frivolous, and predicted that it will almost certainly be dismissed in court because private companies are not subject to comply with the First Amendment, which upends the basis of the complaint’s argument.

Trump, in an op-ed published by The Wall Street Journal on Thursday, said he is suing Big Tech to “restore free speech for myself and for every American.”

The former president said Big Tech platforms have become “increasingly brazen and shameless” when “censoring and discriminating against ideas, information and people on social media.” He emphasized the companies banning people from their websites, deplatforming groups and “aggressively blocking the free flow of information on which our democracy depends.”

He specifically took issue with Big Tech platforms penalizing users who pushed evidence bolstering the COVID-19 lab leak theory, physicians who discussed coronavirus treatments such as hydroxychloroquine, and the New York Post for publishing a story that was critical of President Biden’s family.

Trump then turned to the companies blocking him from their platforms, calling that action “perhaps most egregious.”

“Perhaps most egregious, in the weeks after the election, Big Tech blocked the social-media accounts of the sitting president. If they can do it to me, they can do it to you—and believe me, they are,” Trump continued.

The former president said the lawsuits “seek damages to deter such behavior in the future and injunctions restoring my accounts.”

He concluded the essay by claiming that “Big Tech has been illegally deputized as the censorship arm of the U.S. government,” apparently referring to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which has been a top target for Trump and other Republicans. The legislation created a liability shield for tech companies over content posted on their platforms by third parties. 

“This should alarm you no matter your political persuasion. It is unacceptable, unlawful and un-American,” Trump wrote.

Tags Donald Trump Joe Biden Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act Trump Facebook ban Trump Twitter ban
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