Supporters of former President Donald Trump want to see him return to Twitter and other major social media platforms to get his message out to the masses in the months leading up to the 2022 midterm elections.
Trump, banned from most major social media platforms for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, brought a class-action lawsuit in July against tech giants Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, along with their respective CEOs Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, and Sundar Pichai.
Trump filed a preliminary injunction on Twitter’s ban last week, hoping to get temporarily reinstated while he continues to try and get permanent access to his Twitter account with his 88 million followers.
The former president and his legal team argue Twitter is unfairly censoring him while being a major avenue for public discourse and an essential tool for politicians connecting with voters.
“If you want to communicate directly with the American people, you want as many tools as possible to do so as you can,” said Hogan Gidley, former spokesman for Trump while he was president. “Twitter and social media are definitely good ways to disseminate information. They are the modern-day town square. It’s a means that we’d like to have.”
Gidley added that although Trump has been able to get his thoughts out to some extent via email blasts and surrogates, it’s important that he return to Twitter.
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The lawsuit will allow Trump to represent a larger group of affected people who he says are unfairly censored by problematic content moderation policies from the collusion of government and Big Tech, he argued in an opinion article in the Wall Street Journal in July.
Trump said his lawsuit argues, “Big Tech companies are being used to impose illegal and unconstitutional government censorship,” which he claims is occurring due to Democrats in Congress “coerc[ing] platforms into censoring their political opponents.”
Trump said this “coercion and coordination” between Big Tech companies and the government is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court has ruled that Congress cannot use private actors to achieve what the Constitution prohibits it from doing itself.
However, the First Amendment’s freedom of speech protections do not apply to private organizations and platforms, such as Facebook or Twitter, meaning Trump’s lawsuit is unlikely to succeed, according to several First Amendment lawyers.
“You can complain about high gas prices, but you still have to drive a car to work — any sane politician is going to want equal treatment on a popular social media platform,” said Dan Bongino, a conservative commentator and Trump supporter. “Twitter is an important vehicle to get his message out, which would be able to help him. It’s not catastrophic if he doesn’t get back on Twitter, but his ability to cast a wide net is hurt.”
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Conservatives are worried that if Trump supporters remain mostly on anti-censorship and free speech-focused social media platforms — such as Parler, GETTR, and MeWe — their odds of influencing the electorate will be limited.
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Tags: News, Policy, Big Tech, Donald Trump twitter, Twitter, Censorship, 2022 Elections, Republican, President Trump
Original Author: Nihal Krishan
Original Location: Trump supporters worry about lack of Twitter access ahead of midterm elections