A nonprofit advocacy group partially funded by Big Tech has filed a lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump’s executive order on social media, marking Silicon Valley’s first major legal effort to resist the plan.
The Center for Democracy and Technology’s lawsuit accuses the Trump administration of singling out Twitter for punishment and seeking to “chill the constitutionally protected speech of all online platforms and individuals.”
The suit alleges that the order is unconstitutional under the First Amendment. It was filed in Washington, DC, federal court Tuesday.
CDT, which receives funding from major tech companies including Facebook, Google and Twitter, said in a statement that the move is aimed at protecting tech platforms that are trying to provide accurate information about how to vote.
“Blocking this order is crucial for protecting freedom of speech and continuing important work to ensure the integrity of the 2020 election,” said CDT President & CEO Alexandra Givens.
The White House referred questions to the Justice Department, which has not responded for comment.
Legal experts have warned that Trump’s order is on shaky legal ground. The order calls for the Federal Communications Commission to reinterpret key provisions of the Communications Decency Act of 1996. It seeks to hold tech platforms accountable by attempting to expose them to greater litigation if they do not operate their platforms in a politically neutral manner.
Trump and his allies have long accused social media platforms of censoring conservative viewpoints, while tech companies have long disputed that claim.