Because he’s physically incapable of staying quiet for more than a few weeks at a time, former president Donald Trump just announced a class-action lawsuit against Big Tech CEOs Jack Dorsey, Mark Zuckerberg, and Sundar Pichai. Trump officially publicized the lawsuits at 11 a.m. today in a broadcast on Twitter, a platform from which he is banned.
After being introduced as “president” multiple times, Trump’s speech quickly devolved into a classic rant on a variety of topics ranging from the CDC to Section 230 to hydroxychloroquine. It soon became difficult to understand what, exactly, Trump plans to target with his lawsuits.
The lawsuits will come as little surprise to anyone who has been following along with the former president’s vendetta against mainstream social media companies. After first banning him in January, Facebook took some time to consider its policies and ended up setting a two-year ban on his account; Twitter banned him indefinitely after an initial 12-hour suspension.
Trump’s legal team will be spearheading the lawsuits alongside the America First Policy Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to spreading misinformation and Trump’s own policies. The AFPI is comprised of a number of former Trump administration members; one might call it MAGA 2.0, if one were being generous.
Sorry no one read your blog, bud — Before being banned from Twitter and Facebook, Trump used both platforms as megaphones for all of his big ideas. The internet has been a little quieter, in 2021, without his presence.
Trump did experiment with creating his own, home-grown megaphone, in the form of a blog called From The Desk of Donald J. Trump. But the blog was poorly designed and almost no one read it — so Trump shut it down after less than a month of air time. Since that didn’t work out, Trump has fallen back on his usual backup plan: litigation.
Class action censorship — Trump is the figurehead for these lawsuits, but they represent a larger movement, too. Many Trump supporters believe they’ve been unfairly silenced by the likes of Twitter and Facebook, despite empirical evidence that’s proven those claims false. By turning these into class-action lawsuits, Trump is able to sue Dorsey and Zuckerberg on behalf of this larger group of people who believe they’ve been censored by Twitter and Facebook.
The outcome of these lawsuits won’t be known for quite a while, but the distinct lack of evidence points toward things not going well for Trump and company. Even being president didn’t allow Trump’s unreal vision of “free speech” to crash down on Twitter and Facebook; it would be surprising if he managed it as a private citizen.
The AFPI is urging Americans to pledge their support for Trump’s new lawsuits. A spokeswoman directed listeners to takeonbigtech.com, which redirects to the AFPI’s “Constitutional Litigational Partnership” landing page. The AFPI says it founded that partnership “to restore the most fundamental rights of all Americans” and that it “will fight to rebuild a government that is of the people, for the people, and by the people.”
“We’re in a fight that people want us to win,” Trump said toward the end of his speech. “‘Sue them, sir, please,’ they’ve been telling me.” He ended his speech by saying he would “not stop” until he gets what he wants. God help us all.