Former President Donald J. Trump and a group of brave patriots representing Americans who have had their First Amendment rights violated by Defendants Facebook, Inc., Mark
Zuckerberg, Twitter, Inc., Jack Dorsey, Google LLC, and Sundar Pichai have filed a class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida to vindicate their rights. The former President announced the lawsuit in a video news conference hosted by The America First Policy Institute (AFPI).
Fox News briefly carried part of the former President’s news conference but cut away before he was finished. You can watch President Trump’s announcement through this link.
"I stand before you this morning to announce a very important... development for our freedom and freedom of speech," Trump said according to the Fox online report. "In conjunction with the America First Policy Institute, I'm filing, as the lead class-action representative, a major class-action lawsuit against the big tech giants, including Facebook, Google and Twitter, as well as their CEOs."
"There is no better evidence that big tech is out of control than the fact that they banned the sitting president of the United States earlier this year," Trump added. "If they can do it to me they can do it to anyone."
Trump said the lawsuit will seek "injunctive relief" against "shameful censorship of the American people." There were three separate complaints filed in Miami federal court under Trump's name Wednesday, one against each of the social media giants.
"While the social media companies are officially private entities, in recent years they have ceased to be private with the enactment and their historical use of Section 230, which profoundly protects them from liability," Trump said. "It is in effect a massive government subsidy, these companies have been co-opted, coerced and weaponized by government actors to become the enforcers of illegal, unconstitutional censorship."
He added that "this was especially clear during the pandemic," citing policies against contradicting health experts and the fact that those companies suppressed information alleging that the coronavirus originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Trump called social media companies "the de facto censorship arm of the U.S. government."
AFPI framed the lawsuit this way: “Protected by an outdated and misinterpreted Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, these elites and their firms ride roughshod over some of the most fundamental American rights: the right to speak, the right to be heard, and the right to democratic representation. This lawsuit is not the end of that fight: it is a beginning. It’s a fight AFPI is committed to seeing through. AFPI will continue to support everyday Americans’ efforts to hold Big Tech accountable. Every American can share their personal stories of Big Tech censorship or sign up for updates on these historic efforts to protect their First Amendment freedoms at TakeOnBigTech.com.”
STATEMENT FROM BROOKE L. ROLLINS, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF AFPI
“There’s not much precedent for an American President taking major-media corporations to court — nor is there much precedent for an American President engaging the judiciary to shape the landscape of American freedoms after his Presidency.
President Trump often remarked that if Big Tech is out to get him, it’s because they’re out to get the American people — and he was just standing in the way. The actions of the Big Tech firms we’re taking to court illustrate the point perfectly. What they’ve done, what they’ve wrought in the past few years staggers the imagination.
ALL Americans need Donald Trump to win — not for what it will mean for him, but for what it will mean for every American man, woman, and child.”
STATEMENT FROM PAM BONDI, CHAIRMAN, CONSTITUTIONAL LITIGATION PARTNERSHIP AT AFPI
“Things have changed over the past several years, and the First Amendment rights of all Americans are on the line in this case. The law and Constitution are on our side. America is the great country that it is because our Constitution protects our freedoms, including freedom from censorship - this lawsuit ensures that those rights are properly defended.”
Class Action Lawsuit
The America First Policy Institute (AFPI)