Posted on July 7, 2021

Trump Sues Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube Alleging ‘Censorship of the American People’

Alexis Keenan, Yahoo, July 7, 2021

Former president Donald Trump on Wednesday filed three purported federal class action lawsuits against Facebook, Google-owned YouTube and Twitter their respective CEOs, Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai, and Jack Dorsey.

According to Trump, the lawsuits are intended to stop the platforms from censoring speech and from removing user accounts. The three suits claim the tech giants violated the First Amendment’s free speech protections, though the amendment protects against censorship by the government and not censorship by private companies.

“We’re asking the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida to order an immediate halt to social media company’s illegal, shameful censorship of the American people,” Trump said at a press conference at his country club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

The suits are asking for unspecified monetary damages, and for Trump’s accounts on all three services to be restored. In January, in response to the attack by mobs of Trump supporters at the U.S. Capitol, Facebook instituted a temporary ban on the president’s account. The move was followed by a company decision in June to implement a two-year ban to be reevaluated in January 2023.

Twitter similarly banned the president from its platform, indefinitely, two days after the Capitol Hill riot. YouTube also suspended Trump’s account the following week.

“If they can do it to me they can do it to anyone,” the former president said about his removal from the accounts.


During Wednesday’s press conference, John Cole, a lawyer for Trump and the prospective classes, said the the social media defendants qualify as government actors, obligating them to provide free speech protections guaranteed by the First Amendment.