Former President Donald Trump has requested that a judge order Twitter to reinstate his social media account.
Trump requested a federal district court late Friday for a preliminary injunction allowing him to return to Twitter while his case against the social media company is still pending.
“Plaintiff Donald J. Trump respectfully moves for a preliminary injunction directing, inter alia, Defendant Twitter, Inc. and all persons acting in concert with Defendant, to reinstate Plaintiff’s access to Defendant’s social media platform(s),” the filing said.
It claimed that by barring Trump indefinitely from the site, Twitter was “censoring” him, and that the corporation “exercises a degree of power and control over political discourse in this country that is immeasurable, historically unprecedented, and profoundly dangerous to open democratic debate.”
The lawsuit also claimed that Twitter suspended Trump’s account after being “coerced” by his congressional opponents.
On January 8, Twitter banned Trump from its site, claiming “the risk of further incitement of violence” and citing two of his tweets that breached the company’s standards.
The extraordinary decision followed a riot on Jan. 6 in which hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the United States Capitol, killing five people and injuring 140 police officers.
Trump’s account, renowned for uncensored late-night tweets written in capital letters, has 88 million followers and served as a crucial communication tool during Trump’s administration. Though Trump is still able to talk to the media and make public statements, the restriction has significantly reduced his capacity to garner attention and media coverage.
In July, Trump filed a lawsuit against Twitter, Facebook, and Google, as well as their CEOs, saying that they illegally suppressed conservative opinions on their platforms and violated his First Amendment rights by suspending his accounts. Legal experts and business organizations expected that the cases would fail in court because the First Amendment to the United States Constitution protects against censorship by the government, not private enterprises.
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Nonetheless, Twitter’s ban on Trump, which was followed by other social media firms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and Twitch, has attracted critical attention to the influence possessed by a few internet corporations and their capacity to affect public discussion.
Even before announcing the ban earlier this year, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey voiced reservations about depriving Trump of his online platform. “Having to take these actions fragment the public conversation. … And sets a precedent I feel is dangerous: the power an individual or corporation has over a part of the global public conversation,” Dorsey warned in one tweet.
He did, however, support the suspension as “the appropriate choice for Twitter.”
““We faced an extraordinary and untenable circumstance, forcing us to focus all of our actions on public safety,” he wrote. “Offline harm as a result of online speech is demonstrably real, and what drives our policy and enforcement above all .”
Twitter has been testing a number of tools that it claims would improve user safety on the site, including a “safety mode” tool that, when used, can detect and temporarily block accounts deemed offensive to users.
Trump told Fox News earlier this year, “Twitter now is very boring.”
When it comes to technology, Trump does not have a good track record.
The Facebook ban was upheld by the Oversight Board on May 5, four months after it was introduced. When the company’s decision was made in January, Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s founder, and CEO backed it up.
“We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great,” Zuckerberg wrote at the time.
“Therefore, we are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.”
Trump was also suspended from Twitter but publicly appeared to be “happy” to no longer be on the social media platform.
“He’s said that not being on social media, and not being subject to the hateful echo chamber that social media too frequently becomes, has actually been good,” his former aide Jason Miller stated at the time.
Trump is suing Facebook, Twitter, and Google, even if he isn’t really engaged on social media.
Donald Trump has filed a lawsuit against Facebook, Twitter, and Google, alleging that the companies have “wrongfully censored” him.
“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 said at a conference at his Bedminster, New Jersey golf course. “We will prove that this censorship is unlawful, it’s unconstitutional, and it’s completely un-American,” he added.
He then continued by stating, “We ask the court to impose punitive damages on these social media giants. We’re going to hold Big Tech very accountable. This is the first of numerous other lawsuits.”
The America First Policy Institute, founded by Linda McMahon and Brook Rollins, is said to be supporting Trump’s lawsuit.
Trump went on to add that social media and Big Tech are apparently working together “to suppress the views of the American people,” referring to his suppressed posts regarding COVID-19 treatment during the pandemic. He also claimed that “thousands of individuals” want to join the lawsuit, and he appears committed to pursuing it further.
A team of former President Donald Trump secretly unveiled a new social media platform, touting it as a viable alternative to Big Tech companies.
However, it was unclear whether the debut was the former president’s long-promised attempt to provide his legions of supporters with their own social media sanctuary or simply the next attempt to construct a MAGA alternative to the main platforms.
A site, called GETTR, advertised its mission statement as “fighting to cancel culture, promoting common sense, defending free speech, challenging social media monopolies, and creating a true marketplace of ideas.” Right now, the app is in beta form and it officially launched on July 4. It has garnered a lot of problems since launching.
Jason Miller, Trump’s former spokesman, verified the platform’s leadership through text. Tim Murtaugh, a former Trump campaign spokesman, is a consultant on the app.
Trump’s role in the project is unknown, as is whether he will create a GETTR account and use it.