Former President Donald Trump has asked a court to mandate that Twitter restore his social media account, in a Florida court filing made late Friday.

In the court document, Trump asked a District Court judge for the Southern District of Florida for a preliminary injunction enabling his online return, while his lawsuit against the social media giant continues.

Trump Taxes Lawsuit

Former President Donald Trump

“Plaintiff Donald J. Trump respectfully moves for a preliminary injunction directing, inter alia, Defendant Twitter, Inc. and all persons acting in concert with Defendant, to reinstate Plaintiff’s access to Defendant’s social media platform(s),” the filing said.

It argued that Twitter was “censoring” Trump by indefinitely banning him from the platform, adding that the company “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.”

The filing also argued that the social media giant had suspended Trump’s account after being “coerced” by his political rivals in Congress.

Twitter banned Trump from its platform on Jan. 8, stating that two of his tweets violated their policies, and cited “the risk of further incitement of violence.” The unprecedented move came after the riot on Jan. 6 that saw hundreds of his supporters storm the Capitol, in an attack that resulted in five deaths, and some 140 police officers being injured.

Trump’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment by The Washington Post early Saturday. Twitter declined to comment.

Known for firing-off unfiltered and often CAPSLOCK late night tweets, Trump’s account had 88 million followers and became a key communication tool during his presidency. Though Trump remains free to speak to press or make public remarks, his ability to attract attention and media coverage has diminished dramatically following the ban.

In July, Trump sued Twitter, Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s Google, as well as their chief executives, alleging they unlawfully silenced conservative viewpoints and violated his First Amendment rights by suspending his accounts. Legal experts and business associations predicted the lawsuits would have little chance of succeeding in court, given that the First Amendment protects people from censorship by the U.S. government, not private companies.

Nonetheless, Twitter’s Trump ban, which was followed by many other social media giants including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat and Twitch, has also drawn critical attention to the power wielded by a handful of tech companies and their ability to shape the broader national public debate.

Even as he announced the ban earlier this year, Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey expressed unease about depriving the president of his online platform. “Having to take these actions fragment the public conversation … And sets a precedent I feel is dangerous: the power an individual or corporation has over a part of the global public conversation,” Dorsey said in one tweet.

However, he also defended the ban as “the right decision for Twitter. We faced an extraordinary and untenable circumstance, forcing us to focus all of our actions on public safety. Offline harm as a result of online speech is demonstrably real, and what drives our policy and enforcement above all.”

Twitter has been testing a host of new features that it says will boost user-safety on the platform, including a “safety mode” tool, which when enabled can automatically detect and temporarily block accounts deemed insulting to users.

Earlier this year Trump told Fox News: “Twitter now is very boring.”


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