Former President Donald Trump continued his fight against tech industry giants he claims are improperly censoring him, telling Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” that what Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are doing amounts to campaign contributions to Democrats.
Trump recently filed lawsuits against the companies, claiming they wrongfully committed “censorship resulting from threatened legislative action” and “willful participation in joint activity with federal actors.”
The lawsuits note that the companies rely on protections from Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which shields them from lawsuits based on statements posted by users, while allowing them to moderate and restrict content that is “obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable,” regardless of whether it would be protected by the Constitution.
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“They’re getting the biggest subsidy that any company has ever gotten from a government,” Trump said of the Section 230 immunity. “They’re immune from so many different things, but they’re not immune from this lawsuit because what they’ve done is such a violation of the Constitution. A violation like we’ve never seen before.”
While the First Amendment only applies to government actors and not corporations, Trump is attempting to link the two by claiming that the companies were doing the bidding of government officials.
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In his lawsuit against Facebook, he claims the social media giant “worked directly and in concert with” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci “to advance only the narrative that Defendants and Dr. Fauci subscribe to.” Trump alleged that this is supported by emails between Fauci and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.
Similarly, Trump claims YouTube and Twitter have taken steps to promote the views of the government while censoring opposing ideas.
“They work with the Democrats. It’s a Democrat machine; it should be a campaign contribution,” Trump said Sunday.
Trump claims that the continued censorship against him, including the suspension of his accounts, hurts his ability to support fellow conservatives by campaigning for Republicans running in 2022. He also said it hurts his ability to lay the groundwork for a possible 2024 presidential bid.
Trump said Sunday that he knows whether he will run again, but teased that he “can’t reveal it yet” for reasons having to do with campaign finance.
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He is scheduled to appear Sunday afternoon at the Conservative Political Action Conference.