Michelle Obama is now on the hot seat after former President Donald Trump claimed that she teamed up with her fellow Democrats to coerce the social media site into banning him in his new lawsuit against Facebook.
The lawsuit against Facebook was filed last Wednesday, alleging that the platform violated his and other users’ First Amendment rights by censoring content and indefinitely suspending his account. Trump argued that the ban came after Democratic lawmakers threatened to take away the immunity that social media companies enjoy, thereby coercing the companies into banning him and helping Democrats’ political campaigns.
According to Newsweek report:
Trump cited comments Michelle made after the Capitol riot back in January when she said that it was “time for Silicon Valley companies to stop enabling this monstrous behavior.” She went on to say that companies needed to “permanently ban this man from their platforms,” referring to Trump.
Trump’s lawsuit states that Michelle’s comments showcase the views of lawmakers who are making it “increasingly clear” that they want Trump and the “views and content” he espouses banned from Facebook.
The former president also called out Vice President Kamala Harris for urging Facebook to suspend his account and noted that President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi backed revoking Section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act. When heads of social media companies were required to appear at numerous congressional hearings where they were subjected to “lengthy, embarrassing questioning,” it was part of an attempt to coerce them to ban him, Trump claimed.
“The message conveyed by Democrat legislators to Defendants was clear: use the authority of Section 230 to ban Plaintiff and those Putative Class Members who posted content and views contrary to these legislators preferred points of view or lose the competitive protections of Section 230 and tens of billions of dollars of market share altogether,” Trump’s lawsuit says.
Under Section 230, passed in 1996, social media companies have much latitude in determining what stays on their platforms and what comes down. It also largely protects them from lawsuits focused on the content that’s published and circulated on their websites.
Facebook started to ban Trump in January after the Capitol riot in a move that he has since appealed. Facebook’s board then announced the platform’s decision to ban Trump, but disagreed that it should be “indefinite.” Last month, Facebook announced that Trump would be banned for two years.