Lawsuit Says Trump’s Social Media Crackdown Violates Free Speech

OAKLAND, Calif. — President Trump’s crackdown on social media companies faced a new legal challenge on Tuesday, as a technology policy organization claimed in a lawsuit that he violated the companies’ right to free speech with his executive order aimed at curtailing their legal protections.

The nonprofit Center for Democracy and Technology says in the suit that Mr. Trump’s attempt to unwind a federal law that grants social media companies discretion over the content they allow on their platforms was retaliatory and would have a chilling effect on the companies.

The lawsuit — filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia — is indicative of the pushback that the president is likely to face as he escalates his fight with social media companies, which he has accused of bias against conservative voices. It asks the court to invalidate the executive order.

Twitter, which is Mr. Trump’s preferred method of communicating with the public, faced off with him last week after adding fact-check labels to two of his tweets and later restricting a post in which he said protesters who engaged in looting would face a violent crackdown.

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