Former President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he filed class-action lawsuits against tech giants Facebook, Twitter, and Google — along with their CEOs, Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, and Sundar Pichai — because of bans imposed on him and others.
HAPPENING NOW: Getting ready for President Trump’s big announcement on his efforts to protect the First Amendment. Catch it on @OANN at 11:00 EST pic.twitter.com/tXnEynxYzJ
— Christina Bobb (@christina_bobb) July 7, 2021
The lawsuits, filed in U.S. District Court in Miami, alleging the California-based social media platforms violated the right to freedom of speech guaranteed by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Trump is seeking class-action status for the lawsuits, meaning he would represent the interests of other users of Twitter, Facebook, and Google’s YouTube who allege they have been unfairly silenced.
He filed three lawsuits making similar allegations — one against Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg, one against Twitter and its CEO Jack Dorsey, and one against Google and its CEO Sundar Pichai.
“We’re demanding an end to the shadow banning, a stop to the silencing, a stop to the blacklisting, vanishing and canceling,” Trump said at a news conference in Bedminster, New Jersey, adding that “we are asking the court to impose punitive damages.”
He spoke from behind a lectern bedecked with an insignia designed to look like the presidential seal and in front of a backdrop reminiscent of a White House portico.
Trump argued that the suspension of his social media accounts amounts to an infringement on the First Amendment’s guarantee that speech won’t be curtailed by the government.
Fundamental to that case is his relatively novel contention that the major tech firms function as arms of the federal government rather than as private companies.
“The Founding Fathers inscribed this right in the very first amendment to our Constitution because they knew that free speech is essential to the prevention of, look … the prevention of horror,” said Trump, who called the case a “pivotal battle” for the right to free speech.
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Sources: The Gateway Pundit, NBC News, Reuters