Frustrated at the social media ban, former US President Donald Trump has sued Twitter, Facebook and Google-owned YouTube, saying they violated his First Amendment rights by restricting him from their respective platforms. Media reports, however, said on Thursday that the lawsuits are all sound and fury with “little legal substance to back them up”.
Trump has filed proposed class-action lawsuits against the companies as well as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai.
The lawsuits come six months after Trump was permanently or temporarily suspended from the three platforms.
At a press conference on Wednesday, Trump referred to the cases as “a very important game-changer for our country.”
Trump’s lawsuits have also asked courts to declare Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act “unconstitutional”.
The social media platforms are protected by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act in the US.
The suits alleged that Twitter, Facebook and YouTube violated Trump’s First Amendment rights.
“But the First Amendment is intended to protect citizens from censorship by the government — not private industry. The irony that Trump himself was the uppermost figure in the federal government at the time probably won’t be lost on whoever’s lap this case lands in,” reports TechCrunch.
The lawsuits claimed that the tech companies colluded with “Democrat lawmakers,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Dr Anthony Fauci, director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director.
In the press conference, Trump cited an email thread between Zuckerberg and Fauci from March 2020, which was during Trump’s own presidency, reports The Verge.
“We’re not looking for a settlement. We don’t expect a settlement,” Trump said in response to a question.
Trump opened fight with social media firms well before he was banned from them in January after the Capitol Hill attack.
As president, he signed an executive order asking federal agencies to reduce Section 230’s protections, but the order was revoked by President Joe Biden a year later.