Former US President Donald Trump has requested a federal judge in Florida to reinstate his Twitter account, which was suspended in January due to a danger of incitement to violence.
Trump filed a preliminary injunction request against Twitter in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida, claiming that the social media firm was “coerced” into suspending his account by members of the US Congress.
After a mob of Trump supporters attacked the US Capitol in a violent riot on Jan. 6, Twitter and several other social media firms barred him from using their services.
That attack came after Trump gave a speech in which he repeated bogus allegations that his election defeat in November was due to widespread fraud, a claim that has been refuted by numerous courts and state election officials.
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’s lawyers said in the filing.
Twitter claimed Trump’s remarks had breached the platform’s policy prohibiting “glorification of violence” when it permanently removed his account. Trump’s tweets that led to his dismissal were “very likely” to incite people to repeat the Capitol riots, according to the business at the time.
Trump had over 88 million followers on Twitter before being barred, and he utilised it as his social media megaphone.
In his court filing, Trump claimed that while Twitter allowed the Taliban to regularly tweet about their military victories in Afghanistan, the company censored him during his presidency by labelling his tweets as “misleading information” or indicating that they violated the company’s rules against “glorifying violence.”
In July, Trump filed a lawsuit against Twitter, Facebook, and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, as well as their CEOs, alleging that they illegally silence conservative voices.