A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by former President Donald Trump against Twitter for banning him and others from the platform, but Trump can refile an amended complaint that complies with the judge’s order.
U.S. District Court Judge James Donato of San Francisco gave Trump until May 27 to refile, but the amended suit cannot contain any new claims or defendants unless the court grants permission to do so.
Trump’s suit claimed that Twitter violated his First Amendment rights when it banned him permanently from the platform. Donato ruled that the First Amendment does not apply to private companies, noting that Trump was “not starting from a position of strength” with that argument.
The suit also alleged that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act was unconstitutional and that Twitter used “deceptive and misleading practices” that violated the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.
Amended complaint dubious
Donato did not seem hopeful that an amended complaint would be successful, either.
“The amended complaint merely offers a grab-bag of allegations to the effect that some Democratic members of Congress wanted Mr. Trump, and ‘the views he espoused,’ to be banned from Twitter because such ‘content and views’ were “contrary to those legislators’ preferred points of view,” the judge said.
While Trump would still like to hold Twitter accountable for its actions, he has moved on to starting his own social media platform, Truth Social.
He recently posted for the first time on Truth Social, saying, “I’m back! #COVFEFE” with a photo of him at MarALago. The post appeared to get shared more on Twitter than on his own brand new site, which doesn’t have many users yet.
— Philip Tirino (@PhilipTirino) April 28, 2022
Trump has said he will not return to Twitter even if he is allowed to do so, now that Elon Musk is in the process of buying the company and making changes.
“I am not going on Twitter, I am going to stay on TRUTH,” he said. “I hope Elon buys Twitter because he’ll make improvements to it and he is a good man, but I am going to be staying on TRUTH.”
“We’re taking in millions of people, and what we’re finding is that the response on TRUTH is much better than being on Twitter,” he said. “Twitter has bots and fake accounts, and we are doing everything we can.”