Donald Trump’s lawsuit over Twitter ban tossed out by judge

A judge has thrown out Donald Trump’s lawsuit against Twitter that challenged his ban from the social media platform.

The one-term president was kicked off Twitter, as well as other social media pltforms, in the wake of his supporters violently attacking the US Capitol on 6 January 2021.

Now US District Judge James Donato has rejected Mr Trump’s claim that Twitter violated his right to freedom of speech that is guaranteed under the Frist Amendment of the US Constitution.

The deadly attack to prevent the certification of Joe Biden’s election victory, came after Mr Trump gave a speech outside the White House in which he again lied about his defeat, which has been upheld by judges in courtrooms across the country since November 2020.

When Mr Trump’s lawyers filed his case in the San Francisco court in 2021, they stated that the company, now subject to a $44bn takeover from Tesla CEO Elon Musk, “exercises a degree of power and control over political discourse in this country that is immeasurable, historically unprecedented, and profoundly dangerous to open democratic debate.”

Mr Trump had more than 88m followers when his account was suspended by Twitter, and he has since gone on to set up his own platform Truth Social.

He has denied that he will return to Twitter when Mr Musk closes his deal to buy the company, insisting that he will remain on his own platform.

In his 17-page written ruling, the judge wrote that Mr Trump and the five other plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit against Twitter “are not starting from a position of strength” with a First Amendment claim.

“Twitter is a private company, and ‘the First Amendment applies only to governmental abridgements of speech, and not to alleged abridgements by private companies,’” the judge wrote.

And he added: “Overall, the amended complaint does not plausibly allege that Twitter acted as a government entity when it closed plaintiffs’ accounts.”

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