Former US president Donald Trump has announced plans to sue tech giants Google, Twitter, and Facebook along with their CEOs, Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey because of bans imposed on him and others.
Mr Trump was suspended from his social accounts in January over public safety concerns in the wake of the Capitol riots, led by his supporters.
On Wednesday, Mr. Trump called the lawsuit “a very beautiful development for our freedom of speech”.
In a news conference from his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, Mr. Trump railed against social media companies and Democrats, who he accused of espousing misinformation.
“We are demanding an end to the shadow-banning, a stop to the silencing, and a stop to the blacklisting, banishing, and canceling that you know so well, adding that “we are asking the court to impose punitive damages.”
Trump argued that the suspension of his social media accounts amounts to an infringement on the First Amendment’s guarantee that speech won’t be curtailed by the government.
“The Founding Fathers inscribed this right in the very first amendment to our Constitution because they knew that free speech is essential to the prevention of, look … the prevention of horror,” said Trump, who called the case a “pivotal battle” for the right to free speech.
Trump is filing the suit as a class action instead of simply on his own behalf, contending that the social media platforms should not enact limits on other conservative users.