What Donald Trump Said About His Class-Action Lawsuit Against Facebook, Twitter and Google

Live Updates
  • Former President Donald Trump announced a class-action lawsuit against Facebook, Twitter and Google Wednesday, claiming they wrongfully censored him by banning him from the platforms.
  • Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act allows private companies like Twitter and Facebook to remove content designated as inappropriate or a violation of community guidelines.
  • The former president's team launched a website, TakeOnBigTech.com, where supporters can donate and subscribe to updates, but can't join the suit.

Former President Donald Trump announced a class-action lawsuit against Facebook, Twitter and Google from his Bedminster, New Jersey golf course Wednesday.

First reported by the Associated Press, Trump, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, will claim that he was wrongfully censored by the platforms. The CEOs of the companies--Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter's Jack Dorsey and Google's Sundar Pichai--are also named in the suit.

Trump is asking courts for punitive damages against the social media platforms in order to "hold big tech accountable." He cited his social media bans as an infringement on the First Amendment.

"It will be a pivotal battle in the defense of the First Amendment," Trump said.

Trump's team launched the website TakeOnBigTech.com in conjunction with the suit announcement and encouraged supporters to join. However, the site links to the America First Institute Policy's website where people can donate or sign up for updates on the lawsuit.

Signing up for updates and donating to the non-profit does not add someone to the lawsuit, as Trump's speech suggested.

Trump said in his speech that the class-action lawsuit is critical in protecting the freedom of speech. However, the social media bans don't violate the first amendment constitutional right, according to one former federal prosecutor.

Elie Honig, now a legal analyst for CNN, tweeted Wednesday that the leading word in the amendment is Congress, "as in 'shall make no law..."

"That means the First Amendment applies to governmental actors, not private companies," he wrote in the post.

Twitter and Facebook suspended Trump in January amid concerns that he could spur additional violence after a mob of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol as Congress met to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election in favor of current President Joe Biden. The former president remains banned on both Twitter and Facebook.

Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act gives sites like Twitter and Facebook exemption from liability for content posted by users, the AP reported. However, the law also allows those companies to remove posts deemed as obscene or in violation of the site standards, as long as they use the right in "good faith."

Trump has contended that Twitter, Facebook and other similar platforms have misused their ability to remove content.

The live updates for this story have ended.

Trump Lawsuit
Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference announcing a class action lawsuit against big tech companies at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster on July 07, 2021 in Bedminster, New Jersey. Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Republican Politicians Back Class-Action Suit on Twitter

Current and former Republican politicians have taken to Twitter in support of former President Donald Trump's class-action lawsuit against the platform and other sites.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted Wednesday that he and Trump had "never stopped fighting to protect your voice here in America" during their administration. He also pledged to continue advocating for the freedom of speech, although private companies like Twitter and Facebook are given the right to remove content certain content "in good faith" under the 1996 Communications Decency Act.

I’ve visited countries where freedom of speech is nonexistent. During our administration, President Trump and I never stopped fighting to protect your voice here in America. The First Amendment is our most precious amendment, and I will never stop fighting to protect it.

— Mike Pompeo (@mikepompeo) July 7, 2021

Tennessee Rep. Scott DesJarlais tweeted that the "biased decision making" behind what content is permitted on the platforms needs to be brought to attention.

"They have not performed as neutral actors deserving of their Section 230 'good faith' protections, and I support efforts to highlight their manipulation of this protection and revoke it," he wrote in a two-part post.

There is a need to continue exposing the biased decision making behind what is allowed and what is not allowed on these platforms. (1/2) https://t.co/N73GuDeV5i

— Scott DesJarlais (@DesJarlaisTN04) July 7, 2021

Georgia Rep. Jody Hice lauded Trump's decision to take Twitter and Facebook to court. He tweeted that "Big Tech's censorship" had grown beyond Trump and the platforms are "silencing anyone who refuses to regurgitate their far Left views."

Big Tech's censorship has now gone far beyond President Trump.

They're silencing anyone who refuses to regurgitate their far Left views!

It's time to challenge Facebook and Twitter in court.

I'm glad to see Donald Trump is leading the charge!

— Rep. Jody Hice (@CongressmanHice) July 7, 2021

Trump Launches Website for Supporters to Join Lawsuit, Directs to Donation Page

Trump urged his supporters and anyone who has been censored by big tech companies to join the lawsuit.

The former president's team has set up the website TakeOnBigTech.com. The site links to the America First Institue Policy's website where people can donate or sign up for updates on the lawsuit. The website also has a submission box for people to send in their stories on how they were censored by social media platforms.

Signing up for updates and donating to the non-profit does not add someone to the lawsuit, as his speech might have suggested.

Fine print found at the bottom of the America First Institute Policy website reads:

"Signing up as a supporter or donor does not make you a party to, or class member in, any lawsuit in which AFPI may or may not be engaged."

Former Federal Prosecutor Challenges Trump's Free Speech Violation Claims

Former President Donald Trump claimed that the class-action lawsuit against Twitter, Facebook and Google is critical in protecting the freedom of speech during his Wednesday address from Bedminster, New Jersey.

"The Founding Fathers inscribe this right in the very first amendment to our Constitution..." he said

However, the social media bans don't violate the first amendment constitutional right, according to one former federal prosecutor. Elie Honig, now a legal analyst for CNN, tweeted Wednesday that the leading word in the amendment is Congress, "as in 'shall make no law..."

"That means the First Amendment applies to governmental actors, not private companies," he wrote in the post.

Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act allows private companies to remove content they designate as inappropriate or in violation of site community standards.

The very first word of the First Amendment is "Congress" (as in "shall make no law..."). That means the First Amendment applies to governmental actors, not private companies.

— Elie Honig (@eliehonig) July 7, 2021

Trump Calls His Social Media Bans "Highest Level Censorship"

Trump said the social media platforms' use of Section 230, which is a portion of the Communications Decency Act, is a "massive government subsidy."

Section 230 removes liability from the social media platforms for words posted by users.

"No other companies in our country and even in our country's history have had protection like this," he said. "It's in effect, a massive government subsidy."

Facebook, Twitter and Google have used protections given to them under Section 230 to censor Trump, he said.

"These companies have been co-opted, coerced and weaponized by government, and by government actors to become the enforces of illegal, unconstitutional censorship," Trump said. "And that's what it is at the highest level censorship and so many other things that, perhaps are even worse."

Trump Announces Lawsuit Against Twitter, Facebook, Google and their CEOs

In his speech, former President Donald Trump announced he is the lead plaintiff in lawsuits against Facebook, Twitter, Google and their CEOs -- Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter's Jack Dorsey and Google's Sundar Pichai.

Trump is asking courts for punitive damages against the social media platforms in order to "hold big tech accountable." He cited his social media bans as an infringement on the First Amendment.

"It will be a pivotal battle in the defense of the First Amendment," Trump said.

The former president said he wanted to "prevent horror" from happening if freedom of speech were taken away from big tech companies.

Trump showed his gratitude for John Cole, who is working on the legal team for the lawsuits against the social media platforms.

The former president expects other lawsuits to follow his. He told reporters that he does not expect to settle the suits.

Marjorie Taylor Greene Tweets Support of Trump Lawsuit

Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene tweeted her support of former President Donald Trump's class-action lawsuit against Twitter, Facebook and Google, who he said wrongfully censored him when he was banned from the platforms.

In the tweet, Greene said that Trump "always fights back and for the people" and that the platforms are "a real enemy to us all."

"They have violated his 1st amendment, slandered him, and enabled lies and attacks against him while he was a sitting POTUS," she wrote in the tweet.

President Trump is GREAT because he always fights back and for the people.

Suing Twitter and Facebook is right.

They have violated his 1st amendment, slandered him, and enabled lies and attacks against him while he was a sitting POTUS.

There are a real enemy to us all.

— Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@mtgreenee) July 7, 2021