Trump makes the case for suing Big Tech in Wall Street Journal op-ed
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July 9, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Former President Donald Trump took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal Thursday to elaborate on the lawsuit he announced this week against Facebook, Google, and Twitter for deplatforming him and scores of like-minded Americans.
On Wednesday, Trump announced he would be the lead plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit seeking the restoration of his and other social media accounts plus punitive damages. The suit is backed by the America First Policy Institute, a relatively new organization led by former Trump officials Linda McMahon and Brooke Rollins.
“One of the gravest threats to our democracy today is a powerful group of Big Tech corporations that have teamed up with government to censor the free speech of the American people,” Trump’s op-ed begins. “This is not only wrong — it is unconstitutional. To restore free speech for myself and for every American, I am suing Big Tech to stop it.”
Calling the internet “the new public square” akin to town halls and traditional media, Trump argued that the owners of the world’s largest communication platforms have grown “increasingly brazen and shameless” in blocking the “free flow of information on which our democracy depends.”
The former president highlighted various examples of legitimate discussion subjects tech giants have suppressed, including the Chinese government’s culpability in the COVID-19 outbreak, the potential of hydroxychloroquine as a COVID treatment, and a story alleging corruption involving Trump’s 2020 opponent, President Joe Biden, and his son Hunter.
“Jennifer Horton, a Michigan schoolteacher, was banned from Facebook for sharing an article questioning whether mandatory masks for young children are healthy,” the piece continues. “Later, when her brother went missing, she was unable to use Facebook to get the word out. Colorado physician Kelly Victory was deplatformed by YouTube after she made a video for her church explaining how to hold services safely. Kiyan Michael of Florida and her husband, Bobby, lost their 21-year-old son in a fatal collision caused by a twice-deported illegal alien. Facebook censored them after they posted on border security and immigration enforcement.”
Trump highlights two main arguments the suit appears to be relying on: that Big Tech is acting behind the cover of a special government benefit – Section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act, which exempts them from potential liability for user content – and that congressional Democrats are “exploiting this leverage to coerce platforms into censoring their political opponents” via browbeating tech CEOs in Capitol Hill hearings and the “guidance” of agencies such as the US Centers for Disease Control.
“The Supreme Court has held that Congress can’t use private actors to achieve what the Constitution prohibits it from doing itself,” Trump argued. “In effect, Big Tech has been illegally deputized as the censorship arm of the U.S. government. This should alarm you no matter your political persuasion. It is unacceptable, unlawful and un-American.”
It’s not yet known whether Trump plans to run for president again in 2024, but if he does, not being on Twitter is expected to have a significant impact. Trump’s deplatforming led to “Americans’ consumption of media about Trump...dropping to lower levels than at any point since he first announced his bid for the presidency in 2015,” Axios reports. “Clicks to Trump stories fell 81% from January to February, another 56% from February to March and 40% from March to April, according to exclusive data from SocialFlow.”