A U.S. District Court Judge on Friday dismissed former President Donald Trump's lawsuit against Twitter, rejecting his argument that the platform violated his First Amendment free speech rights when they censored his tweets and permanently banned his account.
Trump, who was de-platformed on Jan. 8, 2021, two days after the U.S. Capitol breach, first brought lawsuits challenging the bans on July 7, 2021.
The 45th U.S. president said social media's alleged control over political discourse was "destroying the country.”
Trump's lawyers also sought to challenge Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act as unconstitutional. They also argued that Twitter used "deceptive and misleading practices" that are in violation of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.
But according to Reuters, Donato said in his written ruling that the First Amendment doesn't apply to private companies, adding that Trump is "not starting from a position of strength."
At the time Trump was deplatformed he was a heavy user of Twitter, posting to his 88 million followers several times per day.
Citing the events at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, Twitter permanently closed Trump's account saying some of his tweets violated the platform's "glorification of violence" policy.
The company alleged that a speech Trump gave near the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, in which he alleged the election had been stolen and called on supporters to protest peacefully, contributed to the violence and breach of the Capitol Building that followed.
On that day, several thousand gathered to protest the formalization of then-president-elect Joe Biden, during a joint session of Congress to certify electoral votes. The certification was delayed several hours when hundreds from amongst the throng of protesters entered the building, forcing a lockdown while lawmakers were evacuated.
As of April, prosecutors have charged nearly 800 people in nearly all 50 states with crimes related to the breach.
Twitter, considered by many to be the world's digital town square, purported that some of Trump's tweets could encourage people to replicate the events of Jan. 6, according to Reuters.
Trump first filed his lawsuit in Florida before it was transferred to California.