Former President Donald Trump announced class-action lawsuits on Wednesday against Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.
“We’re asking the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida to order an immediate halt to social media company’s illegal, shameful censorship of the American people and that’s exactly what they are doing,” Trump said in a press conference.
“We’re demanding an end to the shadow-banning, a stop to the silencing, and a stop to the blacklisting, banishing, and canceling that you know so well,” Trump continued. “Our case will prove this censorship is unlawful, it’s unconstitutional, and it’s completely un-American.”
The three lawsuits, filed in a federal court in Florida, allege that the Big Tech giants violated the plaintiffs’ First Amendments rights.
The filing seeks immediate injunctive relief to allow the restoration of the former President’s social media accounts. He also requests that the court impose "punitive damages" on the three social media giants.
The America First Policy Institute, a nonprofit, will support the former president’s legal efforts.
“This is going to be a very, very important game-changer for our country,” Trump said. “It will be a pivotal battle in the defense of the First Amendment, and in the end, I’m confident that we will achieve a historic victory for American freedom and at the same time freedom of speech.”
“Our case will prove that this censorship is unlawful, it's unconstitutional, and it's completely un-American. We all know that. We all know that very, very well.“ Trump said during his speech.
Trump was banned from Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram in the wake of the Jan. 6 riot at Capitol Hill while he was president of the United States. Twitter permanently suspended then-President Trump’s account for alleged “risk of further incitement of violence.”
“This determination is based on a number of factors, including President Trump’s statement that he will not be attending the Inauguration is being received by a number of his supporters as further confirmation that the election was not legitimate,” Twitter said in a statement.
The statement continued, “The use of the words “American Patriots” to describe some of his supporters is also being interpreted as support for those committing violent acts at the US Capitol.”
In January, Trump was also suspended from Facebook, with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg saying that “risks of allowing the President” to post on Facebook for the remainder of his term “are simply too great.”
During the press conference, Trump was questioned on how he plans to fight his argument against the Tech Giant trio, as they are private companies. Trump asserted his earlier comments that the companies are no longer private due to them colluding with government entities.
“Well, they say that they’re private but they’re no longer private,” Trump said.
Pam Bondi, former Florida attorney general and member of the America First Policy constitutional litigation team said, “This is about our constitution. This is just for conservatives. This is for our media, this is for everyone out there. This is about censorship. This is for Democrats and even progressives whose speech should be protected under the First Amendment.”