Trump still needs Twitter even with his new app, lawyer says


Former US president Donald Trump announced plans on October 20 to launch his own social networking platform called 'TRUTH Social,' which is expected to begin its beta launch next month. — AFP

Former President Donald Trump will continue to suffer "irreparable harm” from being kicked off Twitter Inc and Facebook Inc even after his new social-media platform, Truth Social, launches to challenge the companies, his lawyer said.

Trump has asked for court orders forcing Twitter and Facebook to temporarily reinstate his accounts while he sues to be allowed back on permanently, citing "indisputable” injuries he’ll face if he remains cut off from his millions of fans.

The court orders are still warranted following Trump’s announcement about Truth Social because it won’t launch until the first quarter of 2022 and will remain smaller than the Big Tech giants for some time, his lawyer John P. Coale said in a phone interview Thursday.

"Most of the harm was done while he was still president, so I don’t think this undermines his case,” Coale said. "He does have a duty to mitigate damages and this could be him mitigating damages caused to him.”

"Maybe in 2025 it’ll be bigger than Facebook,” he said.

Trump, who sued Twitter, Facebook and Google’s YouTube for blocking him after the Jan 6 Capitol riot, is seeking court orders forcing them to reinstate his accounts while his lawsuits proceed. The platforms say Trump violated their terms of service by inciting violence.

Facebook and Twitter declined to comment.

Trump’s Oct 1 filing seeking an injunction against Twitter said the company is an "essential platform for communicating in today’s global environment” and a "premier destination for users seeking information.” Without access, Trump said, he "faces loss of his donor and merchandising platforms, and ability to communicate his views, content, and endorsements.”

Trump announced his plans for Truth Social a few weeks later, highlighting his ability to reach millions of supporters and voters without Twitter or Facebook while standing up to the "tyranny of Big Tech.” Coale said Trump has a "unique ability” to respond to being kicked off social media.

"I don’t think ‘Joe Blow’ can go out there and create a new company,” Coale said. "Lots of other people were harmed.” – Bloomberg

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