In a lawsuit literally named Trump v. Twitter, the former president is suing Twitter to allow him back on the platform, but his arguments are going fruitlessly in a San Francisco district court.
It’s odd that former U.S. President and current Mar-a-Lago hermit Donald J. Trump is trying to start a Twitter competitor, while simultaneously suing Twitter to get himself reinstated on that platform. Like, if he got reinstated on Twitter, wouldn’t that put his fledgling version at a competitive disadvantage? But linear logic has never been Trump’s strongest suit. (Or maybe it proves that he knows Truth Social ain't ever going to have the user base that Twitter has.)
You’ll recall Trump was banned from Twitter after his supporters stormed the U.S. Capital on January 6, 2021, with Twitter saying the ban was “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.” Trump apparently filed his lawsuit against Twitter this past July, and it is actually literally called Trump v. Twitter.
We found a copy of the lawsuit, which alleges that Twitter’s “‘censorship’ of free speech violates the First Amendment, on the theory that Twitter was ‘acting in concert with federal officials and that its conduct ‘amounts to state action.’” Or in plain English, since some Democrats had called for Trump to be kicked off Twitter, Trump says that means the company censored him because “state actors” had called for it, therefore making Twitter also a “state actor” too.
But that argument is falling flat in front of the U.S. District Judge James Donato. “I read, reread and read again your complaint and I’m not seeing any coercive statements by state actors and that is the hook you are hanging your hat on,” Donato said in proceedings.
Twitter is asking Donato to merely toss the lawsuit. Their attorney Patrick Carome said that Democratic lawmakers were “haranguing” and “jawboning” in their various calls to get Trump kicked off Twitter in recent years, and that their statements were “not the stuff of coercive actions.”
This is separate from, but very similar to lawsuits Trump filed against Facebook and Google over his ban from their platforms.
Meanwhile, Trump’s Twitter competitor Truth Social landed in the app store this week, but has been a glitchy disaster, and unsurprisingly, is already censoring content that ridicules conservatives.
Related: Twitter Insists Trump Is Permanently Banned, Even If He Runs Again [SFist]
Screenshot: @realDonaldTrump via Twitter, back when @realDonaldTrump was still a thing