Former U.S. President Donald Trump has announced class-action lawsuits against three major tech companies, accusing them of wrongfully censoring him and other conservatives.
“We’re asking the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida to order an immediate halt to social media companies’ illegal, shameful censorship of the American people,” said Trump on Wednesday.
The three companies are also well-guarded by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which both protects platforms from legal liability for the content they host and empowers them to make content-moderation decisions — including the decision to remove a sitting president from their platforms altogether.
Trump, who left office January 20 with the inauguration of Joe Biden as president, remains banned from the platforms.
The lawsuits are also “for Democrats and even progressives whose speech should be protected under the First Amendment,” said Pam Bondi, a former Florida attorney general, who was among several of the plaintiffs, lawyers and supporters who appeared with Trump at Wednesday’s announcement.
The former president said he had recruited “a lot of tobacco lawyers” to push the claim, including John Coale, who was a key litigator in multibillion-dollar lawsuits against cigarette manufacturers.