Trump asks court to get him back on Twitter

AFP , Saturday 2 Oct 2021

Donald Trump has filed suit asking a court to reinstate his account on Twitter and restore the online voice he lost for allegedly instigating the Capitol Hill riot.

Former President Donald Trump (AP Photo)
Former President Donald Trump speaks during his Save America rally in Perry, Ga., on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021. (AP Photo)

Twitter and other social media banned the former president from their platforms after a mob of pro-Trump supporters assaulted the US Congress building on January 6.

They were riled up by a speech hours earlier in which Trump hammered away at his false claims that the election he lost to Joe Biden was stolen from him.

Twitter said at the time that Trump tweets leading up to his removal violated its policy against glorifying violence and were likely to cause people to mimic what happened on January 6.

In the filing Friday in a Florida federal court, Trump argued that the platform that served as his main megaphone for reaching his millions of conservative followers was "coerced" into suspending him by members of the US Congress.

At the time he was banned Trump had more than 88 million Twitter followers.

Twitter, the filing argues, "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."

The suit notes that the Taliban, in power in Afghanistan now and still considered a terrorist organization by the United States, is allowed to have a Twitter account.

That account appeared on August 8 and "over the weeks that followed Twitter allowed the Taliban to tweet regularly about their military conquests and victories across Afghanistan."

Banning Trump but not the Taliban amounts to "ludicrous incongruity" on the part of Twitter, the suit alleges.

Contacted by AFP, Twitter declined to comment on Trump's move.

Trump continues to hold a tight grip on the Republican Party and after keeping a low profile for some months after the election, he has resumed holding election-style rallies, often dropping hints that he will run again for the White House in 2024.

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