Following his ban from a bevy of social media outlets for inciting violence, former President Donald Trump has seen a significantly diminished audience for his election lies, petty insults, and incoherent rants.
After at least one failed attempt to form his own social media outlet, Trump is now suing Facebook, Twitter, and Google's YouTube—often referred to collectively as "Big Tech"—for what he says is censorship of conservative voices and ideas.
Trump said in a press conference announcing the lawsuit, which was filed with the U.S. District Court of the Florida Southern District:
"Our case will prove this censorship is unlawful, it's unconstitutional and it's completely un-American."
Trump accused the companies of misusing Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which endows social media outlets with broad liability protections from the actions of their users. Ironically enough, a repeal of Section 230—which Trump supported as President—would likely result in more aggressive "censorship" of social media posts, because the outlets hosting them would no longer be shielded from liability.
While lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have called for Big Tech companies to be broken up, Trump and his supporters insist that Big Tech works with Democrats to silence conservatives—a position largely opposed to reality.
But like his demonization of Democrats and journalists, Trump's scathing disinformation on how Big Tech operates has made the entities a favorite enemy of his supporters.
That's probably why Trump and his fellow Republicans began fundraising for the lawsuit immediately.
And there it is: Trump fundraising appeal off his lawsuit already out https://t.co/4KUaokjezH— Nick Corasaniti (@Nick Corasaniti) 1625673845.0
GOP fundraisers are having a field day with the Trump social media lawsuit. Also, peep the NRSC sticking with “5X M… https://t.co/qYRO7SkJwp— Andrew Solender (@Andrew Solender) 1625677163.0
And the first fundraising missive related to the Trump lawsuit comes from the NRCC at 11:39 a.m., before the event… https://t.co/M7abXg9IgE— Shane Goldmacher (@Shane Goldmacher) 1625672576.0
One email implores subscribers:
"Please contribute IMMEDIATELY to INCREASE your impact by 500% and to get your name on the Donor List President Trump sees!"
"I am SUING Facebook & Twitter for UNCONSTITUTIONAL CENSORSHIP. For a short time, 5X-IMPACT on all gifts! Donate NOW[.]"
Trump's critics decried the effort as yet another grift—one that his adoring supporters would fall for.
#DonTheCon moves to his next ploy to get money from suckers. https://t.co/6llvtOCicV— Annie S (@Annie S) 1625678323.0
Nice it doesn't say what people are contributing to exactly wonder if they'd be shocked to know it's not his lawsu… https://t.co/LvFINmN9hi— kj martin - Shut the F### up Stephen (@kj martin - Shut the F### up Stephen) 1625679079.0
“There’s a sucker born every minute” attributed to PT Barnum, and “A fool and his money are soon parted”…Thomas Tus… https://t.co/IclwoN1Tug— K L Kemp (@K L Kemp) 1625679734.0
Guys, I’m thinking it might all just be a giant grift. https://t.co/v9y31yUYP8— D.B. Miller (@D.B. Miller) 1625679643.0
It's always a scam, con, grift. And you know, I used to feel bad people fell for it. I don't anymore, let them bank… https://t.co/jSBSIYIuQS— мเรร ℓýиэ™ (@мเรร ℓýиэ™) 1625679466.0
They were hardly surprised.
@NYTnickc Who didn't see this coming.— David Cole 🇨🇦 🇨🇦 🇨🇦 🇨🇦 (@David Cole 🇨🇦 🇨🇦 🇨🇦 🇨🇦) 1625674076.0
The America First Policy Institute is supporting the lawsuit.