Trump asks Florida judge to force Twitter to restart his account

Published October 2, 2021
In this file photo, former US President Donald Trump points at the media while speaking at the North Carolina GOP convention dinner in Greenville, North Carolina. — Reuters/File
In this file photo, former US President Donald Trump points at the media while speaking at the North Carolina GOP convention dinner in Greenville, North Carolina. — Reuters/File

Former US President Donald Trump asked a federal judge in Florida on Friday to ask Twitter to restore his account, which the company removed in January citing a risk of incitement of violence.

Trump filed a request for preliminary injunction against Twitter in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida, arguing the social media company was "coerced" by members of the US Congress to suspend his account.

Twitter and several other social media platforms banned Trump from their services after a mob of his supporters attacked the US Capitol in a deadly riot on January 6.

That assault followed a speech by Trump in which he reiterated false claims that his election loss in November was because of widespread fraud, an assertion rejected by multiple courts and state election officials.

Twitter "exercises a degree of power and control over political discourse in this country that is immeasurable, historically unprecedented, and profoundly dangerous to open democratic debate," Trump's lawyers said in the filing. The filing was reported earlier by Bloomberg.

Twitter declined to comment on the filing when contacted by Reuters.

Before he was blocked, Trump had more than 88 million followers on Twitter and used it as his social media megaphone.

In the court filing, Trump argued Twitter allowed the Taliban to tweet regularly about their military victories across Afghanistan, but censored him during his presidency by labelling his tweets as "misleading information" or indicating they violated the company's rules against "glorifying violence."

In July Trump sued Twitter, Facebook and Alphabet Inc's Google, as well as their chief executives, alleging they unlawfully silence conservative viewpoints.

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