Trump No Longer Allowed To Block Twitter Users, Judge Rules

Wednesday, May 23, 2018
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
Wed, 05/23/2018

President Trump’s e-haters just won a major skirmish in the battle against his tough-talking tweets.

Federal district court Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald, a Bill Clinton appointee, ruled on Wednesday that Trump is no longer allowed to block people from viewing his Twitter feed.

As we reported in July 2017, a free-speech group sued President Donald Trump for blocking Twitter users from his @realDonaldTrump account, arguing the practice violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The lawsuit alleged that because Trump frequently turns to Twitter to make policy statements, his account qualifies as a public forum from which the government cannot exclude people on the basis of their views. Twitter users are unable to see or respond to tweets from accounts that block them, although there is nothing preventing Trump from simply muting any accounts that bother him without the knowledge of the counterparty.

“President Trump’s Twitter account has become an important source of news and information about the government, and an important forum for speech by, to, or about the president,” Jameel Jaffer, an executive director at the Knight Institute said in a statement. “The First Amendment applies to this digital forum in the same way it applies to town halls and open school board meetings. The White House acts unlawfully when it excludes people from this forum simply because they’ve disagreed with the president.”

The lawsuit was brought by the Knight First Amendment Institute, a non-profit organization affiliated with Columbia University, and joined by seven individual Twitter users, and claimed that Trump blocked a number of accounts whose owners replied to his tweets with comments that criticized, mocked or disagreed with the president. The lawsuit, filed in Southern District of NY, pled that Trump’s blocking of the accounts amounted to an unconstitutional effort to suppress dissent.

Fast forward to today when a judge ruled that Trump, indeed, not allowed to block users. It is unclear if Twitter will no force compliance and remove all of Trump’s blocks, and whether the president is still allowed to mute users he finds objectionable.

The Rest…HERE

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