Former President Trump announced a class-action lawsuit against Facebook, Twitter, and Google to “order an immediate halt to social media companies, illegal, shameful censorship of the American people.”
The lawsuit in conjunction with America First Policy Institute, a group founded by Trump Administration alumnae Brook Rollins and Linda McMahon, also demands an “end to the shadow banning,” Trump explained.
“Our case will prove this censorship is unlawful, it’s unconstitutional, and it’s completely un-American,” Trump continued. “Our filing also seeks injunctive relief to allow prompt restitution… because it is destroying our country.”
“You just have to take a look at what happened in recent elections and add up the right numbers,” Trump said about big tech’s censorship in the 2020 election. “Social media has given extraordinary power to a group of big tech giants that are working with government, the mainstream media, and a large segment of a political party, to silence and suppress the views of the American people.”
“We’re demanding an end to the shadow banning, a stop to the silencing, a stop to the blacklisting, vanishing and canceling,” Trump said at a news conference in Bedminster, New Jersey, adding that “we are asking the court to impose punitive damages.”
Trump pointed to how Facebook censored the information regarding the Chinese coronavirus:
Until recently, Facebook had the policy to eliminate all posts sharing evidence that the horrible virus emerged from China. They said, “It didn’t emerge from the Chinese lab.” Remember, I said Wuhan, it was like a bomb went up. “It came from the Wuhan lab.”
“Of course, there are body bags outside the lab, nobody ever mentions that. I wonder why?” Trump questioned. “It was finally revealed that this was most likely the truth, that it came from the lab.”
Previous to the announcement, Breitbart News reported that big tech is likely to use Section 230 as a defense and “Florida passed a law regulating tech platforms as common carriers in the Sunshine State, then Trump as a Florida resident would be on a much stronger legal footing against the tech giants”:
Tech giants are likely to use Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to argue that they have a right to censor anyone, at any time, for any reason — an argument that courts have in the past accepted.
President Trump attempted a last-minute executive rulemaking change to Section 230 in his final months of office. Still, then-FCC chairman Ajit Pai killed the effort on the day after January 6, after previously voicing support for it.
Had Florida passed a law regulating tech platforms as common carriers in the Sunshine State, then Trump would be on a much stronger legal footing against the tech giants as a Florida resident. Florida Republicans did not pass such a bill — and a federal judge blocked the bill they did pass.
Anthony Sabatini (R-Fl) has pledged to introduce a bill in future legislative sessions to regulate tech companies like common carriers.