WASHINGTON(AP)—Former President Donald Trump has filed suit against three of the country's biggest tech companies,claiming he and other conservatives have been wrongfully censored.But legal experts say the suits are likely doomed to fail,given existing precedent and legal protections.
Trump announced the action against Facebook,Twitter and Google's YouTube,along with the companies'Mark Zuckerberg,Jack Dorsey and Sundar Pichai,at a press conference Wednesday in New Jersey,where he demanded that his accounts be reinstated.
周三，特朗普在新泽西州的新闻发布会上宣布了针对 Facebook、Twitter 和谷歌 YouTube 的行动，以及这些公司的马克·扎克伯格(Mark Zuckerberg)、杰克·多尔西(Jack Dorsey)和桑达尔·皮查伊(Sundar Pichai)的行动。他在发布会上要。
Trump has been suspended from the platforms since January,when his followers violently stormed the Capitol building,trying to block Congress from certifying Joe Biden's presidential win.The companies cited concerns that Trump would incite further violence and have kept him locked out.All three declined comment Wednesday.
"We're asking the U.S.District Court for the Southern District of Florida to order an immediate halt to social media companies'illegal,shameful censorship of the American people,"Trump said of the filings."We're going to hold big tech very accountable."
Twitter,Facebook and Google are all private companies,and users must agree to their terms of service to use their products.Under Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act,social media platforms are allowed to moderate their services by removing posts that,for instance,are obscene or violate the services'own standards,so long as they are acting in"good faith."The law also generally exempts internet companies from liability for the material that users post.
Twitter、Facebook 和 Google 都是私人公司，用户必须同意他们的服务条款才能使用他们的产品。根据1996年《通信规范法案230条款，社交媒体平台可以通过删除诸如淫秽或违反服务自身标准的帖子来限制他们的服务，只要他们的行为是"善意的"法律还普遍免除互联网公司对用户发布的材料的责任。
But Trump and some other politicians have long argued that Twitter,Facebook and other social media platforms have abused that protection and should lose their immunity—or at least have it curtailed.
While conservatives often claim the sites are biased against them,several recent studies have found that isn't the case.Indeed,posts by conservative commentators like Ben Shapiro,Franklin Graham,Dan Bongino and Dinesh D'Souza are routinely among the most widely shared on Facebook.
尽管保守派经常声称这些网站对他们有偏见，但最近的一些研究发现事实并非如此。事实上，本·夏皮罗、富兰克林·格雷厄姆、丹·邦吉诺和迪内什·苏扎等保守派评论员的帖子通常都是 Facebook 上分享最广泛的帖子。
The suit against Facebook and CEO Zuckerberg says Facebook acted unconstitutionally when it removed Trump from the platform.Suits against Twitter and YouTube make similar claims.All three ask the court to award unspecified damages,declare Section 230 unconstitutional and restore Trump's accounts,along with those of several other plaintiffs who joined the suits and have also had posts or accounts removed.
针对 Facebook 和首席执行官扎克伯格的诉讼称，Facebook 将特朗普撤出平台是违反宪法的。针对 Twitter 和 YouTube 的诉讼也提出了类似的指控。这三人都要求法院做出未具体说明的损害赔偿判决，宣布第230条款违宪，并恢复特朗普的账户，以及其他几名加入诉讼的原告的账户，这些原告的职位或账户也已被删除。
Trump's lawsuits,however,are likely doomed to fail,said Eric Goldman,a law professor at Santa Clara University in California who has studied more than 60 similar,failed lawsuits that sought to take on internet companies for terminating or suspending users'accounts.
然而，加利福尼亚州圣塔克拉拉大学的法学教授 Eric Goldman 说，川普的诉讼注定要失败，他研究了60多起类似的失败的诉讼，这些诉讼试图控告互联网公司终止或暂停用户的账户。
"They've argued everything under the sun,including First Amendment,and they get nowhere,"Goldman said."Maybe he's got a trick up his sleeve that will give him a leg up on the dozens of lawsuits before him.I doubt it."
"Trump's suit is DOA,"echoed Paul Barrett,the deputy director of the Center for Business and Human Rights at New York University's Stern School of Business.
纽约大学史登商学院商业与人权中心副主任 Paul Barrett 回应道:特朗普的诉讼是 DOA。
Barrett said Trump was fundamentally misunderstanding the Constitution."The First Amendment applies to government censorship or speech regulation.It does not stop private sector corporations from regulating content on their platforms,"he said by email."In fact,Facebook and Twitter themselves have a First Amendment free speech right to determine what speech their platforms project and amplify--and that right includes excluding speakers who incite violence,as Trump did in connection with the January 6 Capitol insurrection."
巴雷特说，特朗普从根本上误解了宪法。"第一修正案适用于政府审查或言论管制。它不会阻止私营部门企业对其平台上的内容进行监管。"。"事实上，Facebook 和 Twitter 本身拥有宪法第一修正案规定的言论自由权，可以决定他们的平台投射和放大哪些言论——这项权利包括排除煽动暴力的演讲者，就像特朗普在1月6日的国会大厦暴动中所做的那样。"
Goldman said he suspected Trump's legal team knows it is not going to win in court,and suggested Trump was pursuing the suits to garner attention.
Indeed,Trump's political action committee was already raising money off the announcement by early Wednesday afternoon.
As president,Trump last year signed an executive order challenging Section 230 that was seen as largely symbolic.
"It was always about sending a message to their base that they're fighting on their behalf against the evil Silicon Valley tech giants,"Goldman said.
Trump's move comes a week after a federal judge blocked a new Florida law signed by a Trump ally,Republican Gov.Ron DeSantis,that sought to punish large social media companies like Facebook and Twitter for removing content or banning politicians.The law would have allowed the state to fine the companies$250,000 a day for removing the accounts of statewide political candidates and$25,000 a day for removing the accounts of those running for local office.But U.S.District Judge Robert Hinkle on June 30 granted a preliminary injunction stopping the new law from being enforced.
一周前，一名联邦法官否决了特朗普的盟友、共和党州长罗恩·德桑蒂斯(Ron DeSantis)在佛罗里达州签署的一项新法案，该法案试图惩罚 Facebook 和 Twitter 等大型社交媒体公司删除内容或禁止政客访问。这项法律将允许州政府对公司处以每天25万美元的罚款，因为这些公司删除了全州政治候选人的账户，并对删除地方政府候选人的账户每天处以2.5万美元的罚款。但是美国地方法院法官 Robert Hinkle 在6月30日批准了最高初步禁制令阻止新法律实施的判决。
The judge said that tech industry groups challenging the law were likely to prevail on their claim that it violated the First Amendment if the case went to trial.
Matt Schruers,the president of the Computer&Communications Industry Association,a tech industry trade group that includes Facebook,Twitter and Google,said internet companies have a right to enforce their terms of service.
计算机与通信行业协会(Computer&Communications Industry Association)主席马特·施鲁尔斯(Matt schrers)表示，互联网公司有权执行自己的服务条款。该协会是一个科技行业贸易组织，成员包括 Facebook、Twitter 和谷歌。
"Frivolous class action litigation will not change the fact that users—even U.S.Presidents—have to abide by the rules they agreed to,"he said in a statement.
Since departing the White House,Trump has continued to repeat lies about the 2020 election,baselessly claiming that he won,even though state and local election officials,his own attorney general and numerous judges,including some he appointed,have said there is no evidence of the mass voter fraud he alleges.
__O'Brien reported from Providence,Rhode Island.Associated Press writer Mae Anderson contributed to this report from Nashville.