He said that the class action suits are joined by “thousands” of other people whose social media accounts have been shut down, not related only to the January 6 Capitol riots incident.
Former US president Donald Trump on Wednesday announced he will take the lead in launching class action suits against Big Tech companies Google, Facebook and Twitter, and their respective CEOs, challenging the closure of his media accounts in the wake of the January 6 insurrection.
“We’re 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,” Trump said at a news conference in Bedminster, New Jersey. The suits, he added, will be filed in the southern district of Florida.
He went on to say the class action suits are joined by “thousands” of other people whose social media accounts have been shut down, not related only to the January 6 incident.
Twitter shut down Trump’s account permanently within hours of the January 6 attack on the US Capitol instigated by Trump to prevent a joint sitting of Congress from certifying President Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election.
Facebook has suspended Trump’s account for two years.
Marking six months of the Capitol riots on Tuesday, President Joe Biden said that the “citadel of our democracy” was not breached by insurrectionists even during the Civil War.
He added that while democracy did prevail eventually and unequivocally “we must all continue the work to protect and preserve it. That requires people of goodwill and courage to stand up to the hate, the lies, and the extremism that led to this vicious attack, including determining what happened so that we can remember it and not bury it hoping we forget”.
The FBI is prosecuting those who allegedly participated in the insurrection and has arrested more than 500 of them and Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House of Representatives, appointed a committee last week to investigate the attack.
Former president Trump’s lawsuit faces an uphill battle in court as social media companies’ moderation of content on their platforms are protected from lawsuits by a decades old law Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
Trump had tried to over-ride that protection through an executive order in May 2020 after Twitter began slapping labels on some of his post, calling them “misleading”. President Joe Biden rescinded that order in March.
Experts also pointed that if the lawsuit announced on Wednesday advances in court, Trump may have to give testimony on the January 6 insurrection, which he has not done yet though it did find him a place in US history as the only president to be impeached twice.
Big Tech companies are separately facing bipartisan congressional efforts to rein them in through a raft of legislations moved earlier in June, including a bill that seeks to split Amazon and some others into two or force them to shed some of their labels.