Trump announced at an 11am press conference Wednesday that he is the lead class representative in a lawsuit being filed with the Southern District of Florida. The filing, Trump said, seeks immediate injunctive relief to allow the prompt restoration of his social media accounts. He also said he is asking the court to impose “punitive damages” on the three social media giants. Trump’s legal effort is supported by the America First Policy Institute (AFPI), a nonprofit focused on perpetuating Trump’s policies, through a new legal entity called the Constitutional Litigation Partnership.
AFPI’s president and CEO Brooke Rollins and board chair Linda McMahon, both former Trump officials, accompanied him during the announcement. Trump is also asking federal judges to overturn the controversial immunity protections granted to internet companies in 1996 by declaring Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act unconstitutional. “We’re asking the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida to order an immediate halt to stop social media companies’ illegal and shameful censorship of the American people. That’s exactly what they’re doing,” he said.
“We’re demanding an end to the shadow-banning, a stop to the silencing, a stop to the blacklisting, banishing and canceling that you know so well.” Trump said that while the social-media giants “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.”
“It is, in effect, a massive government subsidy,” he said. “These companies have been co-opted, coerced and weaponized by government actors to become the enforcers of illegal, unconstitutional censorship.” Trump noted that the suits also personally target Facenook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet and Google, which own YouTube. “Three real nice guys,” he added sarcastically.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: REUTERS
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