Former President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that he will be leading class-action lawsuits against Twitter, Google and Facebook on alleged censorship and state that “great technology has gotten out of hand” and functions as “the de-facto censorship branch of the US government”.
“While the social media companies are officially private entities, in recent years they are no longer private with the enactment and historic use of Section 230, which thoroughly protects them from liability,” Trump said when announcing the lawsuits in conjunction with America First. Policy Institute.
TRUMP TO JOIN FACEBOOK, TWITTER, GOOGLE OVER SUGGESTED CENSORSHIP, SAYS THEY ‘CLOSED TO BE PRIVATE’
“It’s basically a massive government grant, these companies have been co-opted, coerced and armed by government actors to become the enforcers of illegal, unconstitutional censorship,” Trump added.
Trump was booted from Twitter, Facebook and Google’s YouTube earlier this year after the January 6 attack on the Capitol by a mob of his supporters. The companies said his false claims that the presidential election risked future violence. But Trump supporters say the companies are using politically motivated censorship.
Trump’s suit likely faces an uphill battle, according to experts, who say the First Amendment cannot apply to private companies, even if they do benefit from government policies such as Section 230.
“I don’t think the lawsuit has much chance of success because it primarily charges the corporations with violating the U.S. Constitution, and the U.S. Constitution only restricts government,” Vanderbilt Law School professor Brian Fitzpatrick told Fox news. “It doesn’t limit what private parties can and cannot do.”
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Responding to Trump’s argument that the companies are essentially public because of Section 230, Fitzpatrick said, “We all benefit in some way from some law, but that doesn’t change all of us in government… The chance of success is nil. I think it’s mainly for the publicity, it’s not to really get relief in a court of law.”
But Trump nevertheless warned that the power of social media companies is becoming too great.
“There is no better proof that big tech is spiraling out of control than the fact that they banned the incumbent president of the United States earlier this year,” Trump added. “If they can do it to me, they can do it to anyone.”
Read Trump’s lawsuit against Twitter HERE, the lawsuit against Facebook HERE, and his lawsuit against Google HERE.