Former President Sues Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube In Desperate Plea for Platform

Former President Sues Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube In Desperate Plea for Platform
Photo: Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images

After getting “cancelled” by them earlier this year, Donald Trump has announced a trifecta of class action lawsuits against Twitter, Google, and Facebook, thus generously giving Americans the opportunity to join our former POTUS in his valiant mission for personal revenge.

The lawsuits (embedded below), which were filed in federal court in Florida on Wednesday and list both the companies and their respective CEOs as defendants, are being supported by the America First Policy Institute, a political nonprofit culled together several months ago by former members of the Trump administration.

Trump himself announced the suits in a “press conference” held at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, on Wednesday. The club was suspiciously styled to look just like the White House.

“We’re asking the US district court for the southern district of Florida to order an immediate halt to social media companies’ illegal, shameful censorship of the American people,” Trump said, standing at a podium, behind which was what looked like a soundstage recreation of the White House.

Indeed, the suits, while having a somewhat convoluted legal argument, essentially argue that Trump and other conservative organisations had their First Amendment rights trampled by the likes of Big Tech when Big Tech exercised its First Amendment rights to boot undesirables.

“We’re demanding an end to the shadow banning, a stop to the silencing, a stop to the blacklisting, banishing, and cancelling that you know so well. Our case will prove this censorship is unlawful. It’s unconstitutional, and it’s completely un-American. We all know that. We know that very, very well,” Trump said today.

In a press release, AFPI similarly framed the legal filings as a defence of Americans’ freedom of speech, adding that it applauded Trump and “other 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.”

Yet while the suits claim to be a defence of Americans against a censorious tech oligarchy and its Democratic party enablers, they are, in reality, merely a reflection of the fact that Trump was personally ejected from these platforms in January — largely due to the perception that he had used them to incite a violent insurrection that left five people dead and has resulted in hundreds of federal charges.

Dorsey sacked Trump’s account permanently two days after the lethal tumult at the nation’s capitol. Less than a week later, Google, too, silenced the former President, shutting down his YouTube channel “due to the risk of incitement to violence.” In June, Facebook’s Oversight Board made the softer decision to suspend Trump from its platform for the next two years — essentially giving the Donald just enough time to recoup and plan his social media strategy for a White House run in 2024. At today’s press conference, Trump’s team used that decision to claim that Facebook’s suspension was wrong.

As President, Trump’s routine grift was to goad his followers into believing that whatever ego tantrum he was currently exorcising was, somehow, actually about their needs and rights. In other words, whatever attacks the media or other officials happened to be making against him was, through the magic of optics, consistently spun into an attack on Republican voters and America writ large. These lawsuits appear to be more of the same.

These lawsuits, which seem destined to go nowhere, are deeply funny for a lot of reasons — the least of which is that it’s incredibly hilarious to watch a man who can’t string a coherent sentence together launch a campaign in defence of free speech.

If you want to join Trump’s crusade against the corporations that wounded his ego, you can “join the lawsuit by going to takeonbigtech.com,” as one of Trump’s counsel directed his followers to do today. More likely, Trump would rather you just make a direct donation to one of his slush funds political organisations.

You can read all three suits, in full, embedded below: