back to article Trump tramples US Constitution by blocking Twitter critics – lawsuit

President Donald Trump's habit of blocking critics from following his Twitter account faces a legal challenge that seeks to prevent him from tuning out those with opposing views. On Tuesday, the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University filed a lawsuit in New York's Southern District on behalf of seven people who …


    1. CentralCoasty

      Re: TWATTER

      Down-votes? Really?

      The imagery this writer presents when I read their posts always makes me chuckle.....

      .... that and of course bringing to memory certain scenes from "Deliverance".......

      Anyway have an up vote and a beer.... not for the content, but rather than amusement value!

  1. nilfs2

    Why would anyone wants to read Trump's twitts?

    1. Roger B

      Well if you ever want the rollercoaster ride of hilarity, disbelief and outrage, that's the place to be, he usually starts about 130pm UK BST, you do need to get used to the pauses if he is on a roll though, his small fingers don't always work the touchscreen to well and he can keep you hanging on for 10 minutes or so if he is doing one of his multi tweet messages, or regurgitating something from the Fox new network.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > "Why would anyone wants to read Trump's twitts?"

      I finally agree with you. I don't Twitt and the idea of looking at them coming from an ego Trump's size is rather off-putting as well. This lawsuit is very ill-considered.

    3. eldakka Silver badge

      Why would anyone wants to read Trump's twitts?

      1) Entertainment;

      2) Since it is a defacto official Presidential communications channel, anyone taking an active interest in the government and the running of the country would want to read them?

      (PS I don't, but doesn't mean I can't understand why others would)

  2. DoctorNine

    I wonder...

    Isn't arguing about Twitter, by reference to The US Constitution, kinda like arguing about Jesus, and which type of saddle he used when he rode his dinosaur?

  3. billdehaan

    Exactly what law is being passed here?

    The First Amendment to the United States Constitution "prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, ensuring that there is no prohibition on the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble, or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances".

    To my knowledge, no law has been passed. Nor has anyone's right to speech, assembly, or religion has been been abridged.

    If the US president gives a speech and you can't get into the auditorium, are your rights being denied?

    If the president invites people into the Oval Office but doesn't let others in, can those others sue?

    This looks more like a publicity stunt than a serious legal issue.

  4. Erik_Aamot

    Websites like Twitter .. Facebook .. blogs are private entities _not_ public forums

    There is no right to free speech on anothers property .. virtual or not

    The owners can boot you out anytime .. for any reason

  5. Louis Schreurs BEng

    partisan opinions

    I really dislike the murrican commenters of being so extremely polariSed.

    Smudges this beautiful website.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: partisan opinions

      I really dislike people who invent derogatory names and stick them on people they hate.

      Smudge elsewhere, luser.

  6. Sirius Lee

    Another ridiculous lawsuit

    The consequences of this lawsuit succeeding could be terrible. The internet and platforms like Twitter are haunted by obsessives with, it seems, nothing better to do than trash talk anyone.

    Presumably if blocking users on Twitter applies to the POTUS then is has to apply to everyone. At that point Twitter users are unable to block stalkers. Imagine any vulnerable group: women, kids, old folks, minorities not being able to block the views of those vehemently opposed to them or seeking to exploit them.

    So which is worse? Some obsessives vehemently opposed to the current POTUS being blocked or allowing obsessive and potentially dangerous people to stalk and harass members of any vulnerable group. I know I'd opt to let the POTUS block whom ever he (or she) wants and, so, upset a few media savvy luvvies who will, anyway, be able to make themselves heard.

    Of course some will say the solution is to only prevent the POTUS from blocking but that option brings with it a whole host of other constitutional problems.

    1. PapaD

      Re: Another ridiculous lawsuit

      Please don't use Strawman arguments

      The reasoning here is that because Trumps twitter account is being used as an official communication tool of the president, then it has to abide by the same rules that other official communication tools of the president abide by.

      What they are, i couldn't tell you - i'll leave that to the lawyers and politicians to work out.

      What it isn't is a purely private account - and any comparison between this account and the official account of any other government office is purely a strawman.

      If the lawsuit wins, and forces Trump to unblock everyone he has blocked, and not block them in the future, this won't then mean that the vulnerable user blocking their abusers will then have to unblock them.

      It will also not mean that Trump can't mute anyone he wants.

    2. nijam

      Re: Another ridiculous lawsuit

      > obsessives with, it seems, nothing better to do than trash talk anyone

      Surely that's no way to describe the realTrumpingDonald.

  7. PatientOne

    Something seems to have been missed...

    Strangely, the BBC article reports they *mocked* and criticized Trump. Seems people are focused on the criticism, which is fair, but if they were mocking him - that could be why they got blocked.

    Still, that's supposedly why there are courts: To act as arbitors and to interpret the law to say who was in the right and who was not. Be interesting to see what the court has to say (if it gets that far).


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