US

Trump asks judge to force Twitter to restore his account

Donald Trump has asked a federal judge in the US to force Twitter to restore his account, which was shut down after his supporters attacked the US Capitol in January.

The former US president has filed a request for preliminary injunction against the social media company in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida, where Mr Trump has a home.

He argues Twitter was “coerced” by members of the US Congress to suspend the account, which had tens of millions of followers.

Twitter was among several other social media platforms that removed Mr Trump from their services after a mob attacked the US parliament building in the 6 January riot that left several people dead.

That riot came immediately after a speech by the defeated Republican in which he reiterated false claims that he lost the November US presidential election because of widespread fraud.

Mr Trump’s lawyer said 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”.

The filing added that Twitter allowed the Taliban to tweet frequently about its military victories in Afghanistan, but censored the president during his term in office by labelling his posts as “misleading information” or indicating that they broke the company’s rules against “glorifying violence”.

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In July, Mr Trump launched a legal action against Twitter, Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google, along with their chief executives, alleging they unlawfully silence conservative points of view.

Twitter declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.

The former president’s move will be seen by many as reflecting his ambition to return to the White House, given his continued influence over the Republican Party and having hinted that he would run for reelection in 2024.

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