Court says Trump can’t block users on Twitter

An appeals court said President Donald Trump cannot legally block users on Twitter.

An appeals court said Tuesday that President Donald Trump violated the First Amendment by blocking users on Twitter.

On Tuesday, the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld New York Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald’s ruling that blocking users from interacting with President Trump’s tweets limited their speech in the public forum.

The appellate court judges agreed with Judge Buchwald’s ruling from May 2018 and concluded that “the First amendment does not permit a public official who utilizes a social media account for all manner of official purposes to exclude persons from an otherwise-open online dialogue because they expressed views with which the official disagrees.”

The challenge to President Trump’s unprecedented use of Twitter in office came from seven individuals he blocked, as well as the Knight First Amendment Institute. Plaintiffs argued that Trump’s personal account is an extension of his office.

President Trump has used the social media platform to break news, reverse plans and single out political foes throughout his time in office, and he is planning to host a social media summit at the White House on Thursday.

 

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