Donald Trump asks judge to force Twitter to restore his account
Former president Donald trump is suing Twitter in hopes of getting the social media platform to reestablish its account, citing a new Florida law.
In a complaint filed in the southern Florida district on Friday night, Trump seeks preliminary injunction on Twitter ban, arguing it violates First Amendment, as well as legislation signed in law by Gouv. Ron DeSantis in May.
In the complaint, which was first reported by The Verge, the social media platform is described as “a major avenue of public discourse” and the platform has been “coerced by members of the United States Congress” into censoring it.
Twitter banned Trump from his platform in January, following the January 6 riots that resulted in the death of five people. The app initially suspended Trump for 12 hours for “repeated and serious violations of our civic integrity policy” in response to his false claims that the election was fraudulent. Two days later, the platform moved forward with a permanent ban, inspiring other social media outlets like Facebook and Snapchat to follow suit.
The complaint says Trump’s Twitter account was a “major source of news and information on government affairs,” calling it a “digital town hall.” By banning Trump’s account, the complaint supports, the platform controls political discourse and is “deeply dangerous for opening a democratic debate.”
Twitter declined to comment on Trump’s case on Saturday.
In addition to the First Amendment defense of the lawsuit, the lawsuit also involves new Florida law that faces its own legal battles.
The new law cited in the complaint was a priority of the state legislature under republican control. The measure aims to limit the control of social media over what appears on their platforms.
The law requires social media companies to publish their terms of service with standards for handling issues such as censorship, platform deletion and user blocking, and apply the standards consistently. Citing the move, the complaint argues that Twitter has applied its COVID-19 posting rules inconsistently, “to appease government actors who generally approved of the summer 2020 protests,” but “disapproved of the events of the 6th. January”.
However, a federal judge blocked the new law in July before it could go into effect. DeSantis administration is appealing this decision.
Also in July, Trump sued in the South Florida District U.S. District Court against the three tech companies and their CEOs, claiming he and other conservatives were wrongly censored. The preliminary injunction motion was filed in connection with the Trump v Twitter case.