Former United States, US President, Donald Trump says he will file a lawsuit against Facebook, Twitter and Google, claiming that he is a victim of wrong censorship. He is also targeting chief executives of the three companies in the case he is to serve as the lead plaintiff.
The class action lawsuit would involve other individuals who have been banned by the social media platforms.
Trump was suspended from his social media accounts in January over public safety concerns in the wake of riots in the US Capitol building, led by his supporters. They took to the Capitol to disrupt the January 6 joint session of congress to certify Joe Biden’s victory in the November 3 election.
Subsequently, Facebook and Twitter slammed an indefinite ban on Trump, with other social media platforms like YouTube and Instagram taking similar actions against him. Facebook would later reviewed its decision in June and suspended the former president’s account for two years.
It would be recalled that Trump had earlier hailed Nigeria’s decision to suspend Twitter and urged other countries to follow suit.
“Congratulations to the country of Nigeria, who just banned Twitter because they banned their President. More COUNTRIES should ban Twitter and Facebook for not allowing free and open speech—all voices should be heard,” he had said.
In a news conference on Wednesday from his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, Trump railed against social media companies and Democrats, who he accused of espousing misinformation as he called the lawsuit “a very beautiful development for our freedom of speech”.
The suit requests a court order to end alleged censorship. Mr Trump added if they could ban a president, “they can do it to anyone”.
According to Trump, “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.
“From the very beginning of our nation, freedom of speech has always been understood as a bedrock of our liberty and our strength,” Trump said at a press briefing on Wednesday.
“No one should have the power to take that right away.”
The former US president was joined at the news conference by former Trump officials who have since created the not-for-profit America First Policy Institute.
He called the post that got him banned from Twitter, “the most loving sentence”.
According to Twitter, the tweets that resulted in Mr 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 favour.
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.