Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced that he will lead a lawsuit over alleged censorship against Twitter, Facebook and Google – three tech companies that removed him from their platforms after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by a mob of his supporters.
The lawsuit will be a class-action, with Trump as the lead plaintiff, claiming that he’s been censored by the companies. He spoke about the legal action from his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
“I stand before you this morning to announce a very important… development for our freedom and freedom of speech,” Trump said. “In conjunction with the America First Policy Institute, I’m filing, as the lead class-action representative, a major class-action lawsuit against the big tech giants, including Facebook, Google and Twitter, as well as their CEOs.”
“There is no better evidence that big tech is out of control than the fact that they banned the sitting president of the United States earlier this year,” Trump added. “If they can do it to me they can do it to anyone.”
Twitter, YouTube and Facebook each barred Trump over his false claims that the presidential election was stolen, alleging that he contributed to the violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6. YouTube is owned by Google.
36 States and D.C. Take Google to Court
On Wednesday, the attorneys general of 36 states and the District of Columbia filed an anti-trust lawsuit against Google. The bipartisan lawsuit echoes a similar case that Fortnite-maker Epic Games brought against the search giant last August, challenging Google’s surcharge on apps that use its Google Play Store.
The lawsuit brought Republican AGs like Sean Reyes (Utah), Herbert Slatery III (Tenn.), Mark Brnovich (Ariz.), and Doug Peterson (Neb.) together with Democratic AGs like Josh Stein (N.C.), Letitia James (N.Y.), Philip Weiser (Colo.), and Thomas J. Miller (Iowa), Politico reported.
The lawsuit alleges that Google’s plan for its pay-to-Play Store violates anti-trust laws, harming consumers in the states. Google has announced its plan to force all app developers who use the Google Play Store to pay a 30 percent commission on sales of digital goods or services, starting in September. Epic Games challenged a similar policy last August. Judge James Donato, the Obama appointee who will hear the states’ lawsuit, has scheduled a trial in the Epic lawsuit for April 2022.
The pay-to-Play Store is the default app store on Google’s Android phones, although Android users can also download apps from stores operated by companies like Amazon and Samsung, or even install them directly from other sources. Apple, by contrast, only allows iPhone users to download phones from Apple’s App Store.