Trump Tech Lawsuit Immediately Devolves Into Shameless Grifting. Surprise!
Remember last week when Donald Trump held that batshit presser to announce his batshit lawsuits against Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook for suppressing his free speech? You could be forgiven for assuming you'd hallucinated the whole thing — in what universe are lawyers arguing in federal court that big tech companies are actually the government, and thus capable of violating Americans' free speech rights? After all, the First Amendment only applies to government actors, and indeed it violates freedom of speech and association to force a private business to say anything at all.
Sadly, no. That shit really happened. These dinguses really filed a facially nonsensical lawsuit in an effort to get Trump's name back into the news. But wait, it gets even better! Turns out, the whole thing immediately devolved into another fundraising grift in Trumpland.
At last week's presser, Trumpland regular Brooke Rollins was asked how the "millions of Americans" who have been suppressed by the evil government tech giants might join the lawsuit.
"You can join the lawsuit by going to takeonbigtech.com," responded Rollins, who heads the America First Policy Institute (AFPI), the astroturf nonprofit backing the lawsuit. "I did not plant that question, but I very much appreciate it. Takeonbigtech.com and we really are looking for the tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of Americans."
As the Daily Beast's Roger Sollenberger was first to note, if you head over to the site, you immediately wind up at AFPI's donation page, where you can "Learn More" and you can "Donate." You can even "Share Your Story." But what you can't do is join this POS suit as an actual plaintiff.
So, you're not going to join the case at all, but you can make a donation to the cause and they might use that cash to round up some more plaintiffs for this VRY SRIOUS lawsuit.
Or they might not.
"Donations to AFPI may be used to support work of class counsel to identify the class and develop winning factual and legal arguments, and raise awareness about the case to advance these goals," it says in fine print under the form. "Donations may also be used to support research and development of public interest policy and will support all of AFPI's charitable purposes. Signing up as a supporter or donor does not make you a party to, or class member in, any lawsuit in which AFPI may or may not be engaged."
So you can give these grifters money, or you can give them a donation in kind by turning your personal info over for their mailing list — which they may or may not sell to third parties — after which you will be spammed for all eternity with aggressive fundraising texts and emails.
Clickety click on over to Make America Great Again, kids! Because who better to trust with your credit card, right?
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.