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Twitter: Former President Donald Trump’s complaint to rejoin the social network is dismissed

Inadmissible: this is how a Californian court ruled on Friday May 6 the complaint that Donald Trump had filed against Twitter after being excluded from the social network. The former president of the United States wanted to be able to return to the platform from which he was banned for inciting violence in January 2021. The Republican billionaire and his co-plaintiffs accuse Twitter of “censorship”, in violation of their right to privacy. freedom of speech guaranteed by the US Constitution. But “the plaintiffs are not in a strong position,” said Californian judge James Donato, because “Twitter is a private company, and ‘the First Amendment only applies to government-imposed speech restrictions’ ( …)”.

The platform’s rules “give contractual permission to Twitter to act as it wishes with any account or content, for any reason, and even for no reason,” it adds. Donald Trump was banned from major networks (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube) after his supporters stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, which he is accused of having encouraged. The platforms had justified their decision by the risk of further incitement to violence.

Elon Musk also considers that Twitter is censoring

Before being ousted from Twitter, the former head of state had some 89 million subscribers there. He spoke to them every day, alternating between presidential announcements and attacks on his political enemies. Donald Trump also asked the court to declare unconstitutional Section 230, a 1996 law that protects internet hosts from lawsuits related to content published by third parties. But the magistrate replied that it did not hold unless the plaintiffs proved that they had suffered damage.

The move comes as Elon Musk reached an agreement with Twitter’s board of directors to buy the California-based company for $44 billion. The boss of Tesla wants to make it a bastion of freedom of expression, within the limits provided for by law but with a moderation of content much less restrictive than currently. He considers, like many conservatives, that Twitter is “censoring”. Donald Trump, however, recently told American media that he had no intention of returning to the platform even if Elon Musk invited him back. He launched his own social network in February, called “Truth Social”. The judge left the door open for an amended complaint based on his comments.

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