Former President Donald Trump plans to sue the leaders of Facebook and Twitter after the social media platforms banned his accounts following the Jan. 6 Capitol incursion, according to a new report.
Trump spokeswoman Liz Harrington announced the former president had scheduled a news conference for 11 a.m. Eastern time Wednesday.
NEW! Press conference at 11 a.m.
Tune in, you don’t want to miss it! pic.twitter.com/sh1HxGJ2OT
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) July 7, 2021
Axios, citing unnamed sources, first reported Trump‘s latest legal effort Wednesday morning, calling it “the latest escalation in Trump’s yearslong battle with Twitter and Facebook over free speech and censorship. Trump is completely banned from Twitter and is banned from Facebook for another two years.”
The report said the effort is being led by the America First Policy Institute, a nonprofit focused on “perpetuating former President Trump’s popular policies.”
The organization is led by president and CEO Brooke Leslie Rollins. According to its website, she is “the former Director of the Domestic Policy Council and Chief Strategist at the White House, as well as the former Director of the Office of American Innovation.”
In June, Facebook said it will look to “experts” to review whether Trump can be reinstated in January 2023.
“We will evaluate external factors, including instances of violence, restrictions on peaceful assembly and other markers of civil unrest,” Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice president of global affairs, said in a statement.
“If we determine that there is still a serious risk to public safety, we will extend the restriction for a set period of time and continue to re-evaluate until that risk has receded,” Clegg said.
“When the suspension is eventually lifted, there will be a strict set of rapidly escalating sanctions that will be triggered if Mr. Trump commits further violations in future, up to and including permanent removal of his pages and accounts.”
The announcement comes a month after Facebook’s Oversight Board upheld the social media giant’s suspension of Trump.
The controversial move affirmed the company’s decision to remove Trump following the Jan. 6 incursion at the Capitol.
“Trump’s posts during the Capitol riot severely violated Facebook’s rules and encouraged and legitimized violence,” the board said.
The Board has upheld Facebook’s decision on January 7 to suspend then-President Trump from Facebook and Instagram. Trump’s posts during the Capitol riot severely violated Facebook’s rules and encouraged and legitimized violence. https://t.co/veRvWpeyCi
— Oversight Board (@OversightBoard) May 5, 2021
“Within six months of this decision, Facebook must re-examine the arbitrary penalty it imposed on January 7 and decide the appropriate penalty,” the board wrote.
“This penalty must be based on the gravity of the violation and the prospect of future harm. It must also be consistent with Facebook’s rules for severe violations, which must, in turn, be clear, necessary and proportionate.”
The decision applied to both Facebook and Instagram. The former president had nearly 60 million followers across the two platforms, according to CNN.
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