Trump wants a judge to force YouTube to reopen his account so he can sell merchandise

Trump plans to seek similar injunctions against Facebook, Twitter

John Bowden
Tuesday 24 August 2021 17:51
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<p>MAGA hats sit on empty seats during an election watch party, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Chandler, Arizona</p>

MAGA hats sit on empty seats during an election watch party, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Chandler, Arizona

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Former President Donald Trump is ramping up his legal fight against tech companies that banned him from their platforms following the violence at the US capitol on 6 Jan.

Mr Trump on Monday requested an injunction in his lawsuit against Google that would force the company to at least temporarily reinstate the former president’s YouTube channel, The New York Post first reported.

In his lawsuit, the former president claimed that the ban caused irreparable harm to his ability to potentially run for office again in the future, such as by blocking his ability to fundraise off of the platforms through advertisements for merchandise.

According to the Post, Mr Trump’s attorneys are planning similar filings against Facebook and Twitter in the weeks ahead. Mr Trump remains banned from all three platforms as of now, with Facebook deciding earlier this year to extend the former president’s ban through at least 2023.

The Independent has reached out to Google for comment on the former president’s lawsuit.

An executive director of the America First Policy Institute’s Constitutional Litigation Partnership, a group linked to members of the former Trump administration that is assisting the former president with his lawsuit, claimed to the Post that YouTube and other companies have “inconsistently applied their terms and services and their community standards”.

The lawsuit also mentions a favoured conspiracy theory of Mr Trump and his supporters regarding his ban and alleged pressure from congressional Democrats such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on tech companies to remove the then-president from their platforms.

Susan Wojcicki, CEO of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, said in March that the former president’s channel “remains suspended due to the risk of incitement to violence”, and would be unsuspended if the risk of real-world conflict lessened.

The president was roundly criticised for his use of social media in the days leading up to and during the 6 January attack on the Capitol. At a rally near the White House and on social media, Mr Trump repeatedly egged his supporters on with false claims about election fraud, Democrat-led conspiracies, and misinformation about voting machines, all of which he said were responsible for his 2020 election defeat.

As the attack unfolded, Mr Trump largely refrained from addressing his supporters and only offered paltry words urging them to cease the violence after the attack began.

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