Former President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that he has filed a class-action lawsuit against Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Google CEO Sundar Pichai for banning him from their platforms following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
According to The Blaze, the lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District for the Southern District of Florida. Trump will be the lead plaintiff in the suit in collaboration with the America First Policy Institute, a new nonprofit think-tank that promotes Trump's policies.
"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 ... today, in conjunction with the America First Policy Institute, I'm filing as the lead class action representative in a major class-action lawsuit against the Big Tech giants, including Facebook, Google and Twitter, as well as their CEOs," Trump said during a news conference at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
NEW: President Trump announces class action lawsuit against Facebook, Twitter and Google. pic.twitter.com/fOdONirhSM— Anders Hagstrom (@Hagstrom_Anders) July 7, 2021
The lawsuit requests a court order to immediately stop social media platforms' "illegal, shameful, censorship of the American people."
"Our case will prove this censorship is unlawful, it's unconstitutional, and it's completely un-American," Trump said.
"There is no better evidence that Big Tech is out of control than the fact that they banned the sitting president of the United States earlier this year," the former president continued. "If they can do it to me, they can do it to anyone."
Following the riot on Jan. 6., where Trump supporters stormed the U.S. capitol, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube — which is owned by Google — each announced that Trump was no longer able to use their platforms. Twitter permanently banned Trump from its platform, while Facebook banned him up until at least 2023.
As Axios first reported, the class action lawsuit seeks to restore Trump's social media accounts and "punitive damages" on the tech giants.
The lawsuits further target the liability protections Big Tech companies use under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
"While the social media companies are officially private entities, in recent years they have ceased to be private with the enactment and their historical use of Section 230, which profoundly protects them from liability," Trump said. "It is in effect a massive government subsidy. These companies have been co-opted, coerced and weaponized by government actors to become the enforcers of illegal, unconstitutional censorship," he added.
The former president also accused the social media companies of working with federal health officials to censor speech on its platforms, including information about the origins of COVID-19 and whether it leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Alex Wong/Staff
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.