THE ANGELS –
A judge in San Francisco dismissed former US President Donald Trump’s lawsuit against his permanent ban on Twitter.
US District Judge James Donato said on Friday that Trump had failed to demonstrate that Twitter violated his right to free speech. The right to free speech does not apply to private companies, and Trump has failed to demonstrate that Twitter was acting as a state actor on behalf of Democrats.
The amended complaint provides just a grab bag of allegations that some Democratic members of Congress wanted Mr Trump and ‘the views he held’ to be banned from Twitter because such ‘content and views’ “contradicted those preferred positions.” lawmakers,” wrote Donato. “But the comments of a handful of elected officials are a long way from a ‘rule of decision for which the state is responsible.’ Lawmakers are completely free to express their views without being considered the official voice of ‘the state’.’
Trump sued Google’s Twitter, Facebook and YouTube in July 2021, alleging they had illegally censored him.
The platforms suspended Trump after the Jan. 6, 2021 uprising, in which his followers violently stormed the Capitol in an attempt to prevent Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s presidential victory. The companies worried that he would incite further violence.
The ruling comes as Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, is in the process of buying Twitter for $44 billion. The deal has raised questions about whether Musk, a self-proclaimed free speech absolutist, would reinstate the former president.
Trump, who kept repeating lies about his 2020 election defeat in speeches, has founded his own social network, Truth Social. He said last week that he would stop participating in Twitter if given the chance.
The lawsuit had sought to restore Trump’s account, which had about 89 million followers, and that of five others who also claimed to have been censored by Twitter. The group had filed for unspecified damages and class action status on behalf of others who were removed from the platform.
Legal experts had predicted the lawsuit would fail, but suggested Trump would milk it for political ends. Trump’s political action committee immediately began raising funds after the lawsuit was announced last year.
The lawsuit also sought a declaration that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 was unconstitutional.
The law says providers like Twitter can moderate services by removing obscene posts that violate their standards and cannot be held responsible for content posted by others.
Trump had only displayed a “vague and speculative accusation” that he believed he would not have been banned if Twitter had not been given immunity by Section 230, Donato said.
Donato gave Trump another chance to amend his complaint. Trump’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.