THE beleaguered former United States president Donald Trump is still fighting for his space online. This time around, he is suing Twitter to allow him to tweet again.
According to media reports, he filed a preliminary injunction against Twitter late on Friday in Miami, claiming the social media company cancelled his account in January under pressure from his political rivals in Congress.
Part of his complaint states that Twitter “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.” Trump was known for using Twitter to announce policy and personnel decisions, criticise political enemies, and spread misinformation about election results.
He also claims that Twitter “became an important source of news and information about government affairs and was a digital town hall,” where the former president posted his views. At the time of the ban, Trump had 88 million Twitter followers.
Trump also claimed that Twitter censored him during his presidency by labelling some of his tweets as “misleading information,” which the platform said violated its rules against “glorifying violence.”
Trump lost his Twitter account and other social media accounts this year after the companies said he violated their policies against glorifying violence.
Announcing the decision to ban Trump, Twitter announced: “After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them — specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter — we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.
“In the context of horrific events this week, we made it clear on Wednesday that additional violations of the Twitter Rules would potentially result in this very course of action. Our public interest framework exists to enable the public to hear from elected officials and world leaders directly. It is built on a principle that the people have a right to hold power to account in the open.
“However, we made it clear going back years that these accounts are not above our rules entirely and cannot use Twitter to incite violence, among other things. We will continue to be transparent around our policies and their enforcement.”
Later, Trump used a blog on his website in an attempt to communicate his views. This has subsequently been closed down.