Trump asks US judge to force Facebook to restore his account, 9 months after he was booted off site over Capitol riot ​​– media

Lawyers for Donald Trump have reportedly asked a Florida judge to make Facebook halt its suspension of the former president, saying his banishment would do “irreparable harm” to Republicans in the 2022 and 2024 elections.

The request for a preliminary injunction against Facebook was filed on Thursday in the US District Court in Miami. If granted, it would allow Trump to post content on the social media platform while his class action lawsuit against Facebook, Twitter and Google’s YouTube – as well as CEOs of the Big Tech giants – proceeds toward trial.

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The Washington Examiner quoted attorneys for Trump as arguing that the ex-president is being blocked from an essential tool needed by politicians to win elections. “[CEO Mark] Zuckerberg and Facebook say it’s the 21st-century public town square,” lawyer John Coale said. “If so, they should uphold the First Amendment. You can’t have it both ways. They’re like a public utility when it comes to speech.”

The injunction request follows a similar filing last week asking the court to force Twitter to restore Trump’s account. The then-president was suspended from major social media platforms – including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube – in January, after he was accused of inciting the Capitol riot.

Facebook said in June that its ban of Trump would remain in place until at least January 2023 and could be extended “if we determine that there is still a serious risk to public safety.” Trump aims to help Republicans win back control of Congress in the 2022 midterm elections and has hinted that he may run for president again in 2024.

By blocking the former president from “the most effective and direct forms of communication with potential voters,” Facebook is “threatening irreparable damage to the Republican Party’s prospects in the 2022 and 2024 elections,” Trump’s lawyers said in Thursday’s filing.

The broader legal battle in Trump’s lawsuit, which was filed in July, will challenge whether First Amendment protections can be applied to social media platforms. His lawyers have argued that Democrats in Congress coerced Big Tech companies to censor their political opponents, which would violate a constitutional provision that prohibits lawmakers from using private entities to carry out actions that they can’t legally do themselves.

“We expect this to go all the way up to the Supreme Court, and they can decide what is free speech, what can be censored, and who gets to decide what is and isn’t allowed online,” Coale said.

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(L) Former Facebook employee and whistleblower Frances Haugen. © Reuters / Matt McClain; (R) Pro-Trump protesters gather in front of the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. © AFP / JON CHERRY
January 6 committee to hear from Facebook ‘whistleblower’, who all but accused platform of letting ‘insurrection’ happen – media

Ironically, a federal judge in 2018 ordered Trump to restore Twitter users whom he had blocked, saying he had violated the First Amendment by denying them access to his posts.

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