Former US president Donald Trump announced Wednesday he is filing a lawsuit against Facebook, Twitter and Google, claiming that he is the victim of censorship.
“Today, in conjunction with the America First Policy Institute, I’m filing as the lead class representative, a major class-action lawsuit against the big tech giants including Facebook, Google and Twitter as well as their CEOs, Mark Zuckerberg Sundar Pichai and Jack Dorsey — three real nice guys,” Trump told reporters at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
The nation’s top tech firms have become the “enforcers of illegal, unconstitutional censorship,” added the 75-year-old Republican, who was banned from posting on Facebook and Twitter in the wake of the deadly January 6 siege of the US Capitol by Trump supporters.
In a news conference from his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, Trump railed against social media companies and Democrats, who he accused of espousing misinformation.
“We are 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,” he said.
The suit requests a court order to end alleged censorship. Trump added if they could ban a president, “they can do it to anyone”.
Trump was joined at the announcement by former Trump officials who have since created the not-for-profit America First Policy Institute.
The former president called the post that got him banned from Twitter, “the most loving sentence.”
According to Twitter, the tweets that resulted in Trump’s ban for “glorification of violence” were from 8 January, two days after the rioting in the nation’s capital. The riot followed his repeated claims, without evidence, that the election was rigged in Joe Biden’s favor.
He wrote that the “great patriots” who voted for him will have “a giant voice” and “will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form”, and in another post said he would not attend President Joe Biden’s inauguration.
Trump launches new social media platform
Last week Trump’s team has created and launched a new social media platform called GETTR. Trump’s former spokesman Jason Miller spearheaded development of the platform, branding it as another option, different from Big Tech platforms — most of which Trump is banned from.
The site’s mission statement claims the platform is “fighting cancel culture, promoting common sense, defending free speech, challenging social media monopolies, and creating a true marketplace of ideas.”
Miller is taking the initiative with the app’s image and message, but has not yet confirmed whether former President Trump himself will be using the platform as a way to voice his views now that he has been banned from two of the largest social media platforms in the world — Facebook and Twitter.
“The former president is going to make his own decision, it’s certainly there and ready for him should he make the decision — we would welcome that. There is an account reserved for him and waiting for him but that’s a decision for him to make,” said someone close to the project to CNN.