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US judge rejects Trump's lawsuit over Twitter suspension

US judge rejects Trumps lawsuit over Twitter suspension

San Francisco: A federal judge in California on Friday tossed out the lawsuit filed by former US President Donald Trump seeking to reinstate his banned Twitter account, AFP reported.

In a written ruling, US district judge James Donato in San Francisco rejected Trump's argument that Twitter violated his right to freedom of speech guaranteed by the first amendment of the US constitution.

The suit's argument that Twitter had "censored" Trump in violation of free speech rights was weak, since the First Amendment bars government bodies -- not private businesses -- from interfering with what citizens say, the judge said in his ruling.

"The amended complaint does not plausibly allege a First Amendment claim against Twitter," James Donato said in a ruling dismissing the lawsuit.

"The TOS (terms of service) gave Twitter contractual permission to act as it saw fit with respect to any account or content for any or no reason."

Donato left the door open for the suit -- which was filed by Trump, the American Conservative Union, and a few people who contended they were "de-platformed" -- to be modified and refiled.

The suit names Twitter and its former chief Jack Dorsey as defendants, and sought cash damages as well as an order to have the suspended accounts immediately reinstated.

Twitter permanently suspended Trump's account two days after his speech at a January 6, 2021 "Stop the Steal" rally inflamed a mob that later laid siege to the Capitol as lawmakers were certifying President Joe Biden's victory.

Trump was booted from Twitter "due to the risk of further incitement of violence" being caused by his tweets, the service said at the time.

The legal defeat comes as billionaire Elon Musk is in the process of buying Twitter and promising to limit content moderation to a legal minimum.

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