Donald Trump says he’s suing Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter boss Jack Dorsey, Google head Sundar Pichai, and their respective companies, alleging that they’ve violated First Amendment rights.
Up-front: Trump said at a press conference on Tuesday that he’s the lead representative in the class-action lawsuits:
We’re asking the US district court for the southern district of Florida to order an immediate halt to social media companies’ illegal, shameful, censorship of the American people. And that’s exactly what they are doing. 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.
The former president also said his team would make sure that liability protections provided to tech firms under section 230 are “at a very minimum changed — and at a very maximum, taken away.”
As for who is taking on the case, Trump said he’s recruited the “best lawyers — the tobacco lawyers.”
Background: Trump’s announcement was his latest salvo against the social media giants.
Twitter has permanently banned him, while Facebook will consider reinstating his accounts in 2023 — a year before the next US presidential election. YouTube says it will lift the suspension “when we determine that the risk of violence has decreased.”
Trump made the announcement on the same day that reports claimed he said Adolf Hitler “did a lot of good things.”
Quick take: The loss of Trump‘s social media accounts has reduced the reach of his inflammatory rhetoric. Social media interactions about him fell 91% between January and May, according to data from NewsWhip.
The announcement of the litigation is Trump’s latest attempt to get his social media megaphones back. But his recent record of losing lawsuits suggests he’ll have a tough job winning the case — if it even gets filed. Trump has a record of threatening legal action but not following through.