Trump’s lawyers acknowledged Twitter’s popularity and “market penetration” while arguing for his reinstatement.
The statement stands in contrast to Trump’s claim that Twitter is “boring” and “hated by everyone.”
His lawyers also accused Twitter of having “damaged the integrity” of the election process by banning him.
Lawyers for former President Donald Trump in a new court filing this week acknowledged Twitter’s popularity and reach, saying that while there are other social media platforms available, “the few available alternatives lack [Twitter’s] market penetration.”
The acknowledgments in Tuesday’s filing stand in sharp contrast to Trump’s repeated claims that Twitter is unpopular. Most recently, he released a statement after the platform banned an account belonging to the far-right Georgia congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene.
“Everybody should drop off Twitter and Facebook,” the statement said, adding that the platforms were “boring” and “hated by everyone.”
Tuesday’s filing also alleged that Twitter “damaged the integrity” of the election process by banning Trump and asked a court to force Twitter to reinstate Trump’s account.
Trump’s lawyers went on to claim that his 2021 ban following the deadly Capitol riot hurt the “free and open exchange of ideas that underpin our democracy.”
“Mr. Trump’s injuries are not only ongoing, but worsening, because they flow from the silencing of Mr. Trump’s political speech as the presumptive head of the Republican party at a time when the nation is drawing ever-closer to the 2022 elections, including his endorsement of candidates in primary races that are currently commencing throughout the nation,” Trump’s lawyers wrote in the filing.
Twitter permanently banned Trump from its platform on January 8, 2021, two days after thousands of his supporters laid siege to the US Capitol in a failed effort to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election. At least seven people died in connection to the attack, according to a bipartisan Senate report.
Twitter cited the “risk of further incitement of violence” for its move. Other social media giants, including Facebook and Instagram, followed suit.
Trump initially filed his lawsuit against Twitter last October. Twitter subsequently asked a court to transfer the case from the Southern District of Florida, where it was filed, to the Northern District of California pursuant to a clause in the company’s user agreement that all users sign. But Trump’s legal team pushed back, saying that his status as a former president exempts him from that clause and that jurisdiction should not be changed.
A federal judge granted Twitter’s request and rejected Trump’s legal argument, writing, “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. The Plaintiffs have failed to satisfy their heavy burden to show that this case should not be transferred.”
In December, Twitter asked a court to dismiss Trump’s lawsuit, arguing that it misinterprets the Constitution’s free speech protections.
The company said in its filing that it is “a private actor that is not constrained by the federal constitution” and, as such, the government “cannot force the private operator of an online platform, such as Twitter, to disseminate speech with which the operator disagrees.”
It added that Trump “agreed to abide by Twitter’s rules, and yet proceeded to repeatedly violate those rules.”
Twitter did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Read the original article on Business Insider