Former President Donald Trump filed a Florida lawsuit contending that Twitter is violating the First Amendment by banning him from the social media platform.
The lawsuit accuses Twitter and CEO Jack Dorsey of being “coerced by members of the United States Congress, operating under an unconstitutional immunity granted by a permissive federal statute, and acting directly with federal officials,” to censor him from the social site.
Trump’s attorneys allege that the company’s indefinite ban of the 45th President on January 8, 2021, is a violation of the First Amendment, as the forum is a “major avenue of public discourse.”
The filing argues that Twitter “exercises a degree of power and control over political discourse in this country that is immeasurable, historically unprecedented, and profoundly dangerous to open democratic debate.”
The lawsuit goes on to accuse Twitter of extending its restraint to users who post comments about Trump, and quotes Professor Alan M. Dershowitz’s remarks that the former president’s “right to speak freely has been seriously compromised by … Twitter. Moreover, the rights of his audience to have access to his views have also been curtailed.”
Court documents claim Trump’s tweets were labeled as “misleading information” that were in violation of Twitter’s rules against “glorifying violence,” and he was falsely accused of inciting violence, yet the social site allows “known terrorist organization,” the Taliban, to maintain operative accounts.
“Over the weeks that followed, Twitter allowed the Taliban to tweet regularly about their military conquests and victories across Afghanistan. The Taliban’s Twitter account is active to this day,” the documents read.
Trump was booted off of the platform permanently two days after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, when he was accused of inciting violence to his 88 million followers.
“After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” Twitter’s Safety account posted.
He was also banned by Facebook and YouTube and has since filed a class-action lawsuit against all three social media giants.