Former President Donald Trump has responded to his social media ban with a class-action lawsuit against Google, Facebook, and Twitter. He declared that “big tech is out of control” and is functioning as “the de-facto censorship arm of the U.S. government.”
In announcing the lawsuits in conjunction with the America First Policy Institute he said “While the social media companies are officially private entities, in recent years they have ceased to be private with the enactment and their historical use of Section 230, which profoundly protects them from liability,”
This comes after major tech and social media companies booted him earlier this year after the January 6 attack on the Capitol by a mob of his supporters.
Trump was booted from Twitter, Facebook, and Google’s YouTube earlier this year after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by a mob of his supporters. The companies said that his false claims on social media risked future violence. But Trump’s supporters say that the companies are engaging in politically motivated censorship.
The legal process undertaken by Trump matters for a number of reasons that include the fact that so far the decision to ban has only being taken by private companies. Recently Twitter silenced the Nigerian President which then inspired a Twitter ban in Nigeria. Through this process, legal entities will outline what could inform how social media companies ought to handle freedom of expression in cases where they disagree with what is being said.
It is however not the first time Trump challenges big tech. During his presidency, Trump tried to take aim at big tech CEOs. In 2020, he signed an executive order that was meant to limit the legal protections that shield social media companies from liability for the content users post on their platforms. President Biden revoked that executive order in May.