Former President Donald Trump’s lawsuit against Twitter Inc. was rejected on Friday by a US Judge. In a written opinion, U.S. District Judge James Donato in San Francisco dismissed Trump’s claim that Twitter infringed on his right to free expression as provided by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
After a mob of Trump followers attacked the US Capitol in a fatal riot on Jan. 6, 2021, Twitter and other social media sites barred him from using their services. That attack only came after Trump gave a speech in which he repeated allegations that were clearly bogus in nature which stated that his election defeat in November was due to widespread fraud, a claim that has been refuted by several courts and state elections officials.
In a court brief last year, Trump’s attorneys said that Twitter “exercises an enormous, historically unprecedented, and profoundly dangerous degree of influence and control over political discourse in this nation.” Twitter claimed Trump’s remarks broke the platform’s policy against “glorification of violence” when it permanently removed his account. The firm concluded at the time that Trump’s remarks, which led to his dismissal, were “very likely” to incite people to repeat the Capitol riots.
Trump had over 88 million Twitter followers and utilised it as his social media megaphone until he was barred from that very platform. His lawsuit claimed that Twitter had violated the plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights to free expression by imposing the restrictions as a result of pressure from Democratic members of Congress. However, Donato said in his 17-page opinion that Trump and the other plaintiffs’ First Amendment argument “does not begin from a position of strength.” and that “Twitter is a private firm,” the court said, citing federal case law, “and the First Amendment applies only to governmental abridgements of expression, not to claimed abridgements by private enterprises.”