Twitter’s terms of service still apply to former President Donald Trump, says a Florida federal judge.
Trump is suing Twitter and its CEO for suspending his account after the January 6 Capitol attack.
A clause in Twitter’s agreement requires the lawsuit be moved to California, but Trump’s lawyers argued that he’s exempt because of his presidency.
On Tuesday, a Florida federal judge ruled that former President Donald Trump’s status as a US president doesn’t exclude him from Twitter’s terms of service, according to court documents seen by Insider.
In July, Trump filed a lawsuit in Florida against Twitter and its CEO for suspending his account permanently on January 7, a day after the Capitol siege. The suspension was made on the grounds of Trump inciting violence through the platform, said Twitter at the time.
The former president cited censorship concerns in his lawsuit, saying that social media giants like Facebook, Twitter, and Google were “silencing” conservative voices and were being coerced by Democratic lawmakers.
On Tuesday, Florida District Judge Robert N. Scola Jr granted Twitter’s motion to transfer the case to the Northern District of California, as required by a clause in the social media company’s user agreement signed by all Twitter users.
Trump’s lawyers argued that he was exempt from the clause because he was sitting president at the time of his account’s suspension, and that it was in the public’s interest to keep the case in Florida.
They failed to convince Judge Scola. “The Court finds that Trump’s status as President of the United States does not exclude him from the requirements of the forum selection clause in Twitter’s Terms of Service,” he said.
Trump resides in Palm Beach, Florida, with his wife Melania and son Barron, at the Mar-a-Lago resort.
Apart from suing Twitter, he has also launched legal action against Facebook, Google, and their CEOs for banning him on their social media platforms.
Earlier this month, Trump filed a request for preliminary injunction to have his Twitter account reinstated, pointing out that the Taliban is allowed to tweet their military victories in Afghanistan while he is censored.
He announced last week that he would launch his own social media network, Truth Social, to “stand up to the tyranny of big tech.” A report later said that Truth Social had violated a license agreement and ripped off code, and that the platform had 30 days to resolve the violation before it would be sued.
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