Former President Donald Trump has filed class-action lawsuits against leading social media companies in response to being suspended from the platforms after the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol.
Trump filed lawsuits against Facebook, Twitter and Google, which owns YouTube, and their CEOs, Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey and Sundar Pichai, at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
AFPI is chaired by multiple former Trump administration appointees.
"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 during a press conference.
The lawsuits seek to “hold Big Tech very accountable,” and restore the former president's social media accounts, as well as punitive damages, so other users will not be banned by the companies, Bloomberg reported.
Twitter permanently banned Trump, who had 88.9 million followers at the time. Facebook, which owns Instagram, banned him for two years, with conditions for his return to the social networking site. The announcement was made by Nick Clegg, vice‑president for global affairs and communications at Facebook, who once served as deputy prime minister in a U.K. coalition government between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservative Party with David Cameron as prime minister.
Trump made it clear he does not intend to back down in the lawsuits.
“We’re not looking to settle,” Trump told reporters at Bedminster when asked about the lawsuits, CNBC reported. “We don’t know what’s going to happen but we’re not looking to settle,” he said.
The Christian Post reached out to Twitter for a statement, but Twitter declined to comment.
CP also reached out to Facebook and Google for a statement regarding the lawsuits but did not receive a response by press time.
AFPI applauded Trump’s move to hold Big Tech accountable in statements released Wednesday.
Brooke Rollins, president and CEO of AFPI and former director of the Domestic Policy Council and former chief strategist at the White House, said, “all Americans” need Trump to win this case.
“There’s not much precedent for an American president taking major-media corporations to court — nor is there much precedent for an American president engaging the judiciary to shape the landscape of American freedoms after his presidency,” Rollins said in a statement released by AFPI.
“President Trump often remarked that if Big Tech is out to get him, it’s because they’re out to get the American people — and he was just standing in the way,” she continued. “The actions of the Big Tech firms we’re taking to court illustrate the point perfectly. What they’ve done, what they’ve wrought in the past few years staggers the imagination.”
Pam Bondi, chairman of the Constitutional Litigation Partnership at AFPI, said Americans’ First Amendment rights “are on the line” in this case.
“The law and Constitution are on our side,” Bondi said in a statement. “America is the great country that it is because our Constitution protects our freedoms, including freedom from censorship — this lawsuit ensures that those rights are properly defended.”
Trump’s team launched a new social media platform, GETTR, ahead of Independence Day in response to Big Tech’s free speech crackdowns on the president and other conservatives. The newest social media platform is headed by Trump adviser Jason Miller.
The new platform isn't funded by Trump, who has yet to join it.
Trump’s one-way communication social media platform, “The Desk of Donald J. Trump,” was permanently removed from his website in June after less than a month online.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation in May to punish Big Tech censorship and protect the ability of Floridians to participate freely in online platforms.
This bill will allow Floridians to sue "totalitarian" Big Tech platforms that violate this law. Trump is a resident of Florida and resides at his Palm Beach estate.
The law states that social media platforms have “unfairly censored, shadow banned, de-platformed, and applied post-prioritization algorithms to Floridians” in the past and the state has "a substantial interest in protecting its residents from inconsistent and unfair actions by social media platforms."
Many have raised concerns that Twitter has not banned violence-inciting speech including the hashtag #killalljews or suspended the accounts of Democratic politicians who called for the escalation of riots in the summer of 2020 or fundraised for criminals to be released from jail. Last summer's Black Lives Matter protests turned into violent riots in which over 20 people were killed and more than $2 billion in damage was done to small businesses and apartment buildings that were set on fire, leaving people homeless and without jobs.
Corporate news outlets often refer to the Jan. 6 riots as a deadly insurrection, but usually don't identify the five people who died that day or how they died.
The lone person killed by lethal force was Ashli Babbit, an unarmed U.S. Air Force veteran who attempted to climb through a smashed door pane into the House chamber. She was shot in the neck by a plainclothes officer from inside the chamber. His name has yet to be released.
Three others who reportedly died at the Capitol that day include a woman who sustained injuries after being trampled on by the crowd, an individual who suffered a heart attack, and another individual who had a stroke.
For months the media reported that Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick died as a result of injuries he suffered when responding to the riot, specifically alleging that he was hit in the head by a fire extinguisher, which was also cited by Democrats during Trump's second impeachment. Reports now say medical examiners "did not find signs that the officer sustained any blunt force trauma."
Sicknick, who died from a stroke on Jan. 7, reportedly told his family that he had been sprayed by an irritant, possibly bear spray. It's speculated that it might've contributed to his death, along with any other preexisting conditions.
Emily Wood is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org