Former president Donald Trump said on Thursday that his class action lawsuit against Big Tech platforms will prevent social-media companies from becoming the de-facto “censorship arm” of the federal government.
Trump, who has been banned from most major social-media platforms, unveiled the lawsuit on Wednesday. It names Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, along with their respective CEOs: Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey and Sundar Pichai.
The lawsuit also represents a large group of users who he said were unfairly kicked off of the platforms because of the companies’ ambiguous and arbitrary content-moderation policies.
“In effect, Big Tech has been illegally deputized as the censorship arm of the U.S. government,” Trump wrote in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, alleging that Democrats in Congress are able to “coerce platforms into censoring their political opponents.”
As an example, Trump cited Big Tech’s use of partisan fact-checkers that claim to be independent but are really “loyal to the Democrat Party.”
He also cited Big Tech’s coordination with government agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to remove content from social media.
“This coercion and coordination is unconstitutional,” Trump wrote.
“The Supreme Court has held that Congress can’t use private actors to achieve what the Constitution prohibits it from doing itself,” he continued. “This should alarm you no matter your political persuasion. It is unacceptable, unlawful and un-American.”
Trump said he hopes this lawsuit will “restore free speech for all Americans” regardless of whether they identified as Democrat, Republican or independents.
“Social media has become as central to free speech as town meeting halls, newspapers and television networks were in prior generations. The internet is the new public square,” he said. “[Big Tech’s] flagrant attack on free speech is doing terrible damage to our country.”