Judge dismisses Trump lawsuit seeking to lift Twitter ban

Technology

Former President Donald Trump
Tom Brenner | Reuters

A judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit by former President Donald Trump seeking to lift his ban from Twitter.

But San Francisco federal district court Judge James Donato left the door open for Trump and other plaintiffs to file an amended complaint against Twitter that is consistent with his decision issued Friday.

The social media giant had banned Trump in January 2021, citing the risk of the incitement of further violence on the heels of the Capitol riot by a mob of supporters of the then-president.

Trump, the American Conservative Union, and five individuals had sued Twitter last year on behalf of themselves and a class of other Twitter users who had been booted from the app. The suit alleges that Twitter violated the plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights to free speech, and asked the judge to rule that the federal Communications Decency Act was unconstitutional.

The CDA says online service providers such as Twitter cannot be held responsible for content posted by others.

Donato’s ruling comes nearly two weeks after Trump told CNBC he had no interest in returning to Twitter even if his ban were to be lifted by Elon Musk, the Tesla chief whose $44 billion offer to buy Twitter has been accepted by the company’s board.

Before the ban, Trump was an avid Twitter user, tweeting an average of more than 30 posts per day toward the end of his presidency. At the time of the ban, Trump had nearly 90 million followers on Twitter.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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