Former President Donald Trump announced during a news conference on Wednesday that he will lead a class-action lawsuit against Twitter, Facebook and Google after they removed him from their platforms following the Jan. 6 Capitol incursion.
“I stand before you this morning to announce a very important … development for our freedom and freedom of speech,” he said at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
President Trump is making history today and standing up to Big Tech!
— Caleb Thompson (@calebthom1) July 7, 2021
“Today, 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, Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai and Jack Dorsey,” Trump said.
“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,” he added.
“If they can do it to me they can do it to anyone. And in fact, that is exactly what they’re doing.”
“If they can do it to me, they can do it to anyone. And in fact, that is exactly what they’re doing.” pic.twitter.com/y982w89l0b
— RSBN 🇺🇸 (@RSBNetwork) July 7, 2021
Trump also said, “The American people’s birthright of freedom must prevail against Big Tech and other forces that seek to destroy it. Through this lawsuit, we are standing up for American democracy by standing up for free speech rights of every American.”
“The American people’s birthright of freedom must prevail against Big Tech and other forces that seek to destroy it. Through this lawsuit, we are standing up for American democracy by standing up for free speech rights for all of every American.” pic.twitter.com/2lRd2kpbiC
— RSBN 🇺🇸 (@RSBNetwork) July 7, 2021
The legal effort is being directed 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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