Former President Donald Trump made an announcement on Wednesday morning that he would be filing class-action lawsuits against Big Tech companies such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google, due to what he called “unlawful” censorship of himself and other conservatives after these social media companies banned him from posting on their platforms after the January 6th riots at the Capitol.
“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 while making an appearance at his golf resort located in Bedminster, New Jersey.
“We will prove that this censorship is unlawful, it’s unconstitutional, and it’s completely un-American,” he added.
The actions are being supported by the America First Policy Institute, headed by former Trump officials Linda McMahon and Brooke Rollins, who introduced Trump at the announcement. Axios first reported AFPI’s involvement.
Trump is banned from Twitter and will not be eligible to return to Facebook for two more years.
In his announcement, Trump said he is the lead class representative in the first suit, filed Wednesday morning in the Southern District of Florida, against YouTube and Pichai.
The Facebook suit also lists Trump as the lead plaintiff.
None of the three tech companies had any immediate comment in response to Trump’s announcement.
Trump has been battling for years with the sites over free speech and censorship, even before his ban.
Trump is using a class-action lawsuit so that he can file on behalf of a very large group of people who are claiming they too have been censored on social media due to political bias.
“We ask the court to impose punitive damages on these social media giants,” said the former president. “We’re going to hold Big Tech very accountable. This is the first of numerous other lawsuits.”
“Liberty is under increased threats and attacks by a lot of different sides,” he said, adding, “We are the majority side … social media has given extraordinary power to a group of Big Tech giants that are working with government, the mainstream media, and a large segment of a political party to suppress the views of the American people and they’ve been very successful at that.”
Trump then stated that “thousands of people” want in on the lawsuit and stated it was the largest lawsuit of its kind. He then introduced some of the others who have complained about being banned from social media platforms due to their conservative politics.
Twitter and Facebook say the bans were enacted for safety reasons following the attack on the Capitol. In May, Facebook’s independent Oversight Board backed the company’s decision to suspend his account.
We’ll have to wait and see how this lawsuit turns out. It’s certainly a big step of action to take against censorship.