Twitter users sue Donald Trump for blocking them

By : |July 12, 2017 0

A group of Twitter users have sued Donald Trump and two White House communication aides for violating their constitutional rights by blocking them from Trump’s personal Twitter account after they criticized the President.

The case brought forward by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University argues that by blocking users, the President is trying to suppress their freedom of speech and that the act “imposes a viewpoint-based restriction on the Individual Plaintiff’s participation in the public forum.”

The lawsuit makes the following argument, “President Trump’s Twitter account, @realDonaldTrump, has become an important source of news and information about the government, and an important public forum for speech by, to, and about the President. In an effort to suppress dissent in this forum, Defendants have excluded—“blocked”—Twitter users who have criticized the President or his policies. This practice is unconstitutional, and this suit seeks to end it.”

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The lawsuit represents seven defendants who have irked Trump one way or another. Among them are verified users @aynrandpaulryan and @joepabike who were blocked for mocking President’s meeting with the Pope and criticizing him with the hashtag #fakeleader, respectively. Apart from Trump himself, the suit names Sean Spicer, who controls White House Communications, as a defendant along with Daniel Scavino, White House Social Media Director.

The lawsuit advances legal theories about speech and civic participation at a time when Twitter is the only means of public communication employed by the POTUS. Hence, it may sound a little weird but the prosecution’s propositions definitely carry substance.

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