July 8, 2021

Trump Sues Zuckerburg, Facebook and Twitter

  • Executive, Flyover Country

By: Konrad Holden

In Brief: 
Former President Trump announced on Wednesday that he has filed a class-action lawsuit against big tech companies including Facebook, Twitter, and Google. The lawsuit names Mr. Trump as the lead class representative and also mentions big tech CEOs Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, and Sundar Pichai as defendants. The lawsuit calls for an end to censorship techniques like “shadowbanning.”

The Background: 
At a press conference this week, former President Trump announced a series of lawsuits targeting Big Tech giants and their CEOs. The lawsuits, which were filed in the Southern District of Florida, allege that companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Google are censoring conservative speech. It also alleges that the companies were coerced and pressured to censor speech by Democratic lawmakers.

The lawsuit is seeking injunctive relief that would force the companies to stop the censorship practices and restore President Trump’s social media accounts. In addition, Mr. Trump is seeking “punitive damages” to be imposed on the platforms. 

The lawsuit specifically calls out Section 230 which gives social media platforms immunity from being sued over user-generated content. Trump argues that these platforms censor constitutionally protected speech while benefiting from government protection from liability. 

Many left-leaning law professors have unsurprisingly condemned the lawsuit as having no basis and no chance of winning. 

But at least one notable judge, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, has argued that if social media platforms are not responsible for user-generated content then they shouldn’t be able to restrict protected speech on their platforms. This is how “common carriers” like telephone companies and email service providers are treated.

Notable Quotes: 

"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. If they can do it to me they can do it to anyone." - Former President Donald J. Trump
 

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