As of Thursday morning, Facebook and its associated companies are facing a new suit from former President Donald Trump who demands that his accounts be reinstated. The lawsuit comes fresh off the stove while his other suits against Big Tech wind their way through the court system.
Trump’s legal team issued the suit in Florida’s Southern U.S. District Court, and petitions that the judge grant a preliminary injunction against Facebook to reinstate the former president’s Instagram and Facebook accounts, the pair of which have an enormous following of an estimated 59 million accounts.
John Coale, one of Trump’s attorneys said that the timing of the injunction felt “appropriate” given Facebook’s time in the news recently given all of the trouble they’ve been facing.
Coale said that both Facebook and Zuckerberg claim that they are the 21st century’s public square, and argued that if they really believed that, then they would obey the First Amendment. Coale was citing remarks made in 2019 by Zuckerberg. Coale said that the company “can’t have it both ways,” they are either a publisher vulnerable to libel or they are a public utility.
Trump’s latest lawsuit argues that Facebook is interfering with politics by banning his account, interfering with Republicans’ odds in upcoming elections. The legal team said that hindering the GOP magnate’s “most effective… direct form of communication” was a serious threat that could cause “irreparable damage” to the Republican party in the next two elections at minimum.
The suit also argues that Trump is suffering significant losses because of how the ban has cut him off from donors and merchandising opportunities, in addition to his inability to express his views on issues and candidates.
Trump issued a class action lawsuit against multiple Big Tech companies in July, targeting Google, Twitter, Facebook, and each respective company’s CEO, over the bans which they enacted shortly after the January 6 Capitol riot.
The class action suit seeks to stop clandestine methods that tech companies use to censor information they don’t like such as blacklisting, shadow banning, canceling, and banishing. Trump said that the lawsuit represents a “pivotal battle” for First Amendment freedoms and expressed certainty that it would result in “a historic victory.”
Author: Mae Rogers