Today, former President Donald Trump
announced that he would be filing lawsuits against three of the biggest names in tech: Facebook
, Twitter, and Google
. Serving as lead plaintiff in the class-action suits, he claims that he has been “wrongfully censored” by the companies after his ban.
As reported by the Associated Press
, the suits have been filed in the U.S. District Court for Florida’s southern district. While this does not necessarily come as a surprise, it is certainly interesting, nonetheless. For context, former President Trump was banned from Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube
in early January this year before he left office. This came after the Capitol attack of January 6th, which many attribute to Trump antagonizing his voter base on the social media platforms he was subsequently banned from.
At a press conference on his Bedminster, New Jersey golf course, Trump stated that he and his team
are “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.” However, there are safe harbor laws in place that allow social media platforms to govern their services however they want. Conversely, Trump and other politicians believe that
social media platforms should lose the immunity and protection due to abuses of the law or alternatively earn safe harbor safety through requirements set by the government.
“Our case will prove this censorship is unlawful, it's unconstitutional and it's completely un-American,” added Trump during the press conference. However, not everyone feels the same way as the former president.
“The First Amendment applies to government censorship or speech regulation. It does not stop private sector corporations from regulating content on their platforms,” said Paul Barrett, deputy director of the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights in a statement to The Hill. “In fact, Facebook and Twitter themselves have a First Amendment free speech right to determine what speech their platforms project and amplify—and that right includes excluding speakers who incite violence, as Trump did in connection with the January 6 Capitol insurrection.”
Despite the existing laws about this all, this could be an interesting case for the U.S. justice system. In any case, let us know what you think of this interesting situation in the comments below.