Ex-President Donald Trump will announce Wednesday that he is bringing a class action lawsuit against Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg over their decision to ban him posting following the Jan. 6 incident at the U.S. Capitol.
The lawsuit is being supported and funded by the America First Policy Institute, which Linda McMahon (ex-Trump official), reported Axios on Wednesday morning.
The expected court action against Trump was announced late Tuesday night by Maggie Haberman, New York Times reporter , who tweeted “Trump’s announcement tomorrow isn’t about a new platform, it’s about lawsuits relating to ones that kicked his off, according to an aide to Trump.”
McMahon, Brooke Rollins (America First board chairwoman), and another ex-Trump official were to be with him during his announcements.
Trump has been banned from Twitter. He will be unable to return to Facebook for at least two years.
Trump has been fighting for years against the sites over free speech, censorship, and even before his ban.
Twitter and Facebook claim that the bans were put in place to protect the Capitol from attack.
However, Trump had already taken aim at Dorsey, Zuckerberg, and big tech before Jan. 6. He signed an executive order to limit legal protections that social media companies have from liability for content posted on their platforms.
President Joe Biden revoked Trump’s order in May.
Trump hinted at the lawsuit during a recent appearance on TV, when he said that he was going to do “something about big tech” because “something harsh has to take place when they can censor conservative voices.”
“Look at me,” he continued. “I had hundreds of millions of followers. OK, number one on Facebook.”
Trump was to make an “important” announcement Wednesday, initially believed to be related to his plans for a social media platform, but word began circulating that the announcement would be about lawsuits, not about any new social media platform.
Last week, Trump’s team launched a new social media platform, named GETTR, and billed it as an alternative to Big Tech sites and says it’s dedicated to “fighting to cancel culture, promoting common sense, defending free speech, challenging social media monopolies, and creating a true marketplace of ideas.
Trump’s former spokesman, Jason Miller, is leading the platform, which has come under criticism for its similarities to Twitter.
In mid-June, the app was made available on both Apple and Google app stores. It is a highly publicized project in conservative tech and social media platforms. This comes amid allegations that Big Tech attempted to silence pro-Trump comments, especially after major sites kept the ban on the former president in place following the Jan. 6 Capitol incidents.
However, GETTR has had issues before. Miller stated that the site was briefly hacked shortly after its launch. Miller also said that the problem was quickly detected and sealed within minutes. The only thing the intruder was able do was change some user names.
TechCrunch reported Tuesday hackers were able to use GETTR’s API (application programming interfacing) to scrape email addresses of more than 85,000 people. They also had access to usernames, birthdates, and names.
Until Wednesday Trump did not have a presence on the new app, even with Miller running the site and other figures from Trump’s orbit, including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Steve Bannon, having established profiles. It was not clear early in the day if he planned to announce that he will now have a platform on the site.
Former President Donald Trump’s blog page, “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump,” was removed from his website in early June and “will not be returning,” Miller said.
Trump had used the page to share statements after social media sites like Twitter and Facebook banned him from their platforms earlier this year. The website still has a news page, however, where Trump’s statements can be found, and followers can still sign up for alerts.