Donald Trump seems to believe a court can violate a business’ right to refuse service to whomever they choose. So he wants a federal judge to grant a preliminary injunction to force Twitter to reinstate his account on the social media platform, according to court documents. In the filing on Oct. 1, 2021, they assert Twitter is violating the First Amendment in “censoring” the former president.
The filing states the social media platform has too much power over the U.S. political conversation. It argued that banning the president while still in office was “historically unprecedented and profoundly dangerous to open democratic debate.” Trump’s lawyers contend the ban was the result of coercion by the ex-president’s Congressional opponents.
Twitter banned him two days after his supporters invaded the U.S. Capitol on January 6th because two of Trump’s tweets violated the company’s policies against inciting violence and the risk of further incidents spurred on by the president’s posts.
The insurrection threatened the safety of Congressional members and their staffers in their attempt to subvert the confirmation of the 2020 Presidental election. Their actions resulted in five deaths and left about 140 Capitol Police Officers injured.
Trump was suspended and later banned on Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. On July 7, 2021, he filed sweeping lawsuits against each social media platform, asking the court to declare Section 230 unconstitutional.
Reportedly, he filed the cases on behalf of any users who experienced restrictions. Interestingly, in 2017, @RealDonaldTrump managed to cause Twitter to ban this reporter after he misinterpreted a complaint about his behavior as a threat to his safety.
In July 2021, Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey expressed unease over depriving the former president of access to the online platform. In a tweet, he wrote:
Having to take these actions fragment the public conversation. They divide us. They limit the potential for clarification, redemption, and learning. And sets a precedent I feel is dangerous: the power an individual or corporation has over a part of the global public conversation.
He told users that it did not matter if they agreed with the platform in the same thread. That Twitter was just one service in a larger public conversation on the internet, and they were welcome to use another service.
Even though Trump had 88 million followers, not all of them were his supporters, many were not — his highest national approval rating never reached 50 percent.
His unfiltered late-night Twitter rants were key to his communicating with constituents during his presidency. Before his ban, his seemingly endless tweets fanned the passion of his followers and angered his detractors.
When the announcement of Trump’s legal team seeking immediate, even if temporary, reinstatement began making the rounds on Twitter, those who seem to hate him expressed themselves, some using inappropriate language. No matter what words they used, over 90 percent of users who posted responses indicated they did not want the former president back on the social media platform.
On Oct 3, @Sundae_Gurl2 wrote:
Banning Trump from Twitter provided the greatest good to humankind since the discovery of penicillin.
@TomJChicago posted the following:
Trump is crying to a federal court to get his Twitter account reinstated. Another stunt to please dementia patient Trump. It’s not going to happen. A judge doesn’t have the power to reinstate accounts & determine Twitter content. Trump is free to go to Parler or another rat hole.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
C|NET: Trump tries to force Twitter to let him tweet again; by Edward Moyer
The Washington Post: Trump asks court to force Twitter to reinstate his account; by Adela Suliman
CNN: Trump wants court to force Twitter to reinstate his account; by Katelyn Polantz
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Gage Skidmore’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Ryan’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License