Former President Donald Trump will announce Wednesday that he’ll be filing class-action lawsuits against Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey, the CEOs of social media giants Facebook and Twitter respectively, according to reports.
Trump will make the announcement during an outdoor press conference at his golf course in Bedminster, N.J.
The suits are being supported by a non-profit legal organization, the America First Policy Institute, which was founded by a number of former Trump administration senior officials.
The former president will be accompanied during his announcement by Linda McMahon, whose husband is Vince McMahon, the CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), and Brooke Rollins, a former acting director of the White House Domestic Policy Council.
Some of Trump’s advisers had hinted previously that he would announce a new social media platform over the July 4 holiday, but reports say that project is still being developed.
Axios was the first to report on Trump’s class-action lawsuits.
The suits are being filed on behalf of a group that says they were improperly censored by the two platforms over their political views and policy preferences.
Meanwhile, Trump remains banned from both social media behemoths following the Jan. 6 Capitol protest, which he has been blamed for inciting.
Trump’s advisers, as well as the former president himself, have often said that he was banned over his conservative political leanings but Facebook and Twitter officials counter by saying he’s banned for safety reasons following the protest.
Trump is expected to make his announcement at 11 a.m. EDT.
“It’s the latest escalation in Trump’s years-long battle with Twitter and Facebook over free speech and censorship. Trump is completely banned from Twitter and is banned from Facebook for another two years,” Axios reported.
The site went on to assert that, despite claims by Trump and other conservatives that both platforms unduly targeted them over their political beliefs, the former president has yet to provide any substantial evidence of the claim, though it’s likely his legal team will attempt to do so via the lawsuits.
“Social Media is totally discriminating against Republican/Conservative voices. Speaking loudly and clearly for the Trump Administration, we won’t let that happen. They are closing down the opinions of many people on the RIGHT, while at the same time doing nothing to others,” Trump tweeted in August 2018.
Earlier the same year, a group of 60 conservatives signed a joint statement appealing to the social media giants to do more to ensure that their voices as well as others on the right weren’t being improperly silenced.
“Social media censorship and online restriction of conservatives and their organizations have reached a crisis level,” the group noted. “Conservative leaders now have banded together to call for equal treatment on tech and social media.”
“We need detailed information so everyone can see if liberal groups and users are being treated the same as those on the right,” the statement added. “Social media companies operate in a black-box environment, only releasing anecdotes about reports on content and users when they think it necessary.”
The following year, the former president directed the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to craft rules spelling out how social media companies could police speech on their platforms.
“Today I am directing my administration to explore all regulatory and legislative solutions to protect free speech and the free speech rights of all Americans,” Trump said in July 2019 during a social media summit. “We hope to see transparency, more accountability and more freedom.”
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