A federal judge in Florida granted Twitter’s request to transfer a case brought against it by Donald Trump—who was banned from the platform after the January 6 Capitol riot—in a Tuesday night ruling, in a setback to the former president’s legal efforts to keep the case in Florida.
In his ruling U.S. District Judge Robert N. Scola agreed to the transfer citing the San Francisco-based social media platform’s terms of service which requires all legal disputes to be handled in Northern California.
Scola rejected Trump’s argument that Twitter’s terms did not apply to him when he was president noting that the former president “has not advanced any legal authority to support his contention.”
Previously another Florida judge granted a similar request from YouTube, which has also been sued by Trump for suspending his account.
Trump was banned from Twitter—along with other major social media platforms including Facebook and YouTube—in January after a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol building in a riot which resulted in the deaths of five people—including a Capitol Police officer. In July, Trump sued Twitter over the ban arguing that the company had violated his First Amendment rights. Earlier this month, another federal judge in Florida agreed to allow Google to transfer its legal battle with Trump—over its suspension of the former president’s YouTube account—to a California court. In a separate lawsuit filed in Florida this month, Trump requested a preliminary injunction to have his Twitter account restored. The former president pointed out that Twitter was allowing the Taliban to tweet about its military victories in Afghanistan while keeping him off the platform.
Last week, Trump unveiled plans to launch his own social media company called “TRUTH Social” in early 2022. The social media company will be operated by Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG) which plans to go public by merging with a Nasdaq-listed special purpose acquisition company called Digital World Acquisition Corp. In a statement announcing the platform, Trump said he created TRUTH Social and TMTG “ to stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech” and added that he was “excited to send out my first TRUTH on TRUTH Social very soon.”