Former President Donald Trump is asking a federal judge to force Facebook to reinstate him while his July class-action lawsuit alleging censorship by Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube proceeds, the Washington Examiner reported Thursday.
Banned from most major social media platforms for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, Trump filed his latest court action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida — seeking access to Facebook ahead of next year’s midterms and his own possible White House run, the news outlet reported.
“This preliminary injunction against Facebook seems appropriate to file this week since they’ve been big in the news lately for all the issues they’re facing,” John Coale, lead counsel of the Trump lawsuits against the big tech companies, told the news outlet, referring to a whistleblower’s damning testimony in Congress.
Trump’s accounts on Facebook and its subsidiary, Instagram, had a combined following of about 59 million.
“Zuckerberg and Facebook say it’s the 21st-century public town square; if so, they should uphold the First Amendment,” Coale said, referring to Zuckerberg’s 2019 description of the social media platforms. “You can’t have it both ways. They’re like a public utility when it comes to speech.”
In seeking a preliminary injunction, Trump’s legal team argued that by “cutting him off from the most effective and direct forms of communication with potential voters,” Facebook is “threatening irreparable damage to the Republican Party’s prospects in the 2022 and 2024 elections.”
It also says Trump faces irreparable harm and significant losses due to being cut off from his donors and merchandising platforms, as well as his ability to communicate his views and endorse local candidates, the news outlet reported.
The Washington Examiner posted a copy of the 38-page suit.
In July, Trump wrote in The Wall Street Journal that his class-action suit represents a larger group of people allegedly unfairly censored by improper content moderation policies devised by government and big tech working together.
Trump asserts “coercion and coordination” between big tech and the government is unconstitutional. Trump’s legal team expects the July class-action suit will eventually wind up before the Supreme Court.
Facebook booted Trump from the platform after an independent oversight board found two Trump posts on Jan. 6 “severely violated” Facebook’s content moderation standards. The board also found Trump’s claims of fraud about the 2020 election and his calls to action to change the result “created an environment where a serious risk of violence was possible,” the news outlet reported.