US court dismisses Donald Trump’s plea to lift Twitter ban

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Trump was booted from Twitter “because of the risk of further incitement to violence”.

San Francisco:

A lawsuit filed by former US President Donald Trump to restore his banned Twitter account was dismissed Friday by a federal judge in California.

The lawsuit’s argument that Twitter had “censored” Trump in violation of free speech was weak, as the First Amendment prohibits government agencies — not private companies — from interfering with what citizens say, the judge said in his ruling.

“The amended complaint is not likely to constitute a first amendment claim against Twitter,” U.S. District Court Judge James Donato said in a ruling dismissing the lawsuit.

“The Terms of Service (Terms of Service) gave Twitter contractual permission to act in its sole discretion with respect to any account or content for any reason.”

Donato left the door open to amend and re-file the lawsuit — which was filed by Trump, the American Conservative Union and a few people who claimed they were “de-platformed.”

The lawsuit names Twitter and its former chief Jack Dorsey as defendants and sought cash damages and an injunction to immediately reinstate the suspended accounts.

Twitter permanently suspended Trump’s account two days after his January 6, 2021 speech at a “Stop the Steal” rally inflamed a crowd that later laid siege to the Capitol as lawmakers confirmed President Joe Biden’s victory.

Trump was booted from Twitter “because of the risk of further incitement to violence” caused by his tweets, the agency said at the time.

The legal defeat comes as billionaire Elon Musk is in the process of buying Twitter and promising to keep content moderation to a legal minimum.

The deal prompts Musk to rethink the ban on the brash Republican — a move that could rock American politics as the nation marches toward November’s midterm elections, as well as a possible Trump re-election bid in 2024.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)



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