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Judge refuses to dismiss Trump lawsuit against YouTube

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A district judge stayed former President Donald Trump’s lawsuit against YouTube until the end of the appeal against the dismissal of his case against Twitter. The judge also denied YouTube’s motion to dismiss the case and Trump’s motion for preliminary injunction.

We obtained a copy of the order for you here.

Trump sued YouTube, Twitter, and the other tech companies that suspended his accounts following the January 6, 2021 riot at the US Capitol.

In the lawsuit against YouTube, he argued that the permanent ban had a negative impact on his donor platforms and stifled public debate, as well as his efforts to endorse candidates.

The lawsuit, initially filed in the Southern District of Florida, also argues that the censorship violates Florida’s Stop Social Media Censorship Act, which was blocked by a federal court, and his First Amendment rights. The suit also asks the court to overturn the protections afforded tech platforms under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

Trump also claims that YouTube deceived users and “unevenly” applies its standards, which is a violation of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. He further claims that YouTube “worked with the government” to violate his free speech rights.

During Trump’s motion for a preliminary injunction, YouTube said that Trump cannot claim his free speech was violated because rules about what content is allowed and not allowed are laid out in the platform’s community guidelines. Additionally, the platform said reinstating Trump’s account would cause it “irreparable injury” and it would violate the company’s First Amendment rights, which give it the freedom to determine what speech to allow.

“Former President Trump and seven other plaintiffs are attempting to turn their disagreement with YouTube’s editorial choices into a federal lawsuit on behalf of a putative nationwide class,” YouTube said. “This effort fails as a matter of law. By seeking to treat the judgments of a private online service provider as state action, plaintiffs flip the First Amendment on its head.”

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