Judge on Friday dismissed the case by former President Donald Trump, who wants to lift his ban on 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, in line with his written decision Friday to dismiss the lawsuit in its entirety.

The social media giant banned Trump on January 8, 2021, citing the risk of inciting further violence following the Capitol uprising by a crowd of supporters of the then president two days earlier.

Trump, the American Conservative Union and five others sued Twitter and its co-founder Jack Dorsey last year on their behalf and a class of other Twitter users who were loaded from the app.

Donato’s decision comes almost two weeks after Trump told CNBC he had no interest in returning to Twitter, even if his ban was lifted by Elon Musk, Tesla’s boss, whose $ 44 billion offer to buy Twitter was accepted by board of the company.

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

His lawsuit alleges that Twitter violated the rights of plaintiffs in the First Amendment for Freedom of Speech, alleging that the bans were due to pressure on the company by Democratic members of Congress.

But in his 17-page decision, Donato wrote that Trump and the other plaintiffs “did not start from a position of strength” with his request for a First Amendment.

The judge noted, citing federal case law, that “Twitter is a private company and the First Amendment applies only to government cuts to speech, not to alleged cuts from private companies.” “

Donato rejected the idea that the ban on Trump and the rest of Twitter was due to government action, which would be the only way to support the allegation of violating the First Amendment.

“Overall, the amended complaint does not claim that Twitter acted as a government body when it closed the plaintiffs’ accounts,” Donato wrote.

The case also asked the judge to rule that the federal communications decency law was unconstitutional.

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

Donato dismissed the lawsuit after finding that the plaintiffs had no legitimacy to challenge the CDA. The judge said the only way they could have such a reputation was to show that Twitter “wouldn’t de-platform the plaintiff” or others if it weren’t for the CDA’s legal immunity when it came to content.

Donato dismissed a third allegation that Twitter had again violated fraudulent and unfair commercial practices in Florida, as Trump and other plaintiffs agreed that California law would settle disputes between Twitter and its users, according to the Twitter service.

The case was initially filed in federal court in Florida, where Trump lives, and then transferred to California at the request of Twitter, whose headquarters are there.

Finally, the judge rejected the fourth claim made under the Florida Social Media Censorship Suspension Act.

The judge said that only one plaintiff in the case, Dominic Latela, had an active Twitter account at the time the Florida law went into effect on July 1, 2021, and that this was the only plaintiff who could have a claim under the law.

“There is also great concern about the applicability of the SSMCA,” Donato wrote.

“Florida government officials were instructed to impose the SSMCA on June 30, 2021, the day before the law went into effect, with a well-founded decision issued by the North District of Florida” that found the law violated the First Amendment, the judge wrote. .

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/05/06/trump-lawsuit-asking-to-lift-twitter-ban-is-dismissed.html

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