Former U.S. President Donald Trump has filed a lawsuit in Florida looking to force Twitter to reinstate his account, arguing that the platform ban is in violation of the First Amendment and Florida's new social media law.
Trump is pursuing a preliminary injunction of Twitter's ban, according to the complaint filed in the Southern District of Florida on 1 October 2021. The former president asserted that the micro-blogging site cancelled his account in January 2021 due to pressure from his political rivals in the U.S. Congress. He is seeking to be temporarily reinstated on Twitter while he moves towards permanent reinstatement.
The complaint said that Twitter "exercises a degree of power and control over political discourse in this country that is immeasurable, historically unprecedented, and profoundly dangerous to open democratic debate."
When the former U.S. chief of state still had his Twitter account, he used the platform to announce policy and personnel changes, criticise political opponents and promote misinformation on the COVID-19 pandemic and the results of the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
Two days after the violent 6 January riot at the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., Twitter permanently banned @RealDonaldTrump in January 2021. Initially, the platform imposed a 12-hour ban on the former president's account for "repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy", referencing his misleading tweets on how the aforementioned election was stolen. Two days later, the ban became permanent. Other social media sites such as Facebook, YouTube, and Snapchat also banned Trump after the riot. Facebook's Oversight Board supported that platform's decision.
In his complaint, Trump stated that his Twitter account "became an important source of news and information about government affairs and was a digital town hall" in which he shared his political views. He also argued that when he was still the U.S. President, Twitter censored him by putting a "misleading information" label on some of his tweets, which the platform said violated its policies against "glorifying violence".
At the time of the ban, Trump had over 88 million followers on Twitter.
Written by Sophia Lopez
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