United States judge: Trump can not block Twitter users

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The account has 52.2 million followers and Trump uses it for a variety of policy announcements.

The question was an aspect of a suit brought by the Knight First Amendment Institute, which alleged that the official presidential Twitter feed amounts to a public forum, and that the government barring individuals from participating in it amounted to limiting their right to free speech. "Under Buchwald's ruling, Twitter remains free to block users from its platform, on its own terms, without running afoul of the First Amendment".

The ruling could also impact how public officials use social media platform in general, including Facebook and YouTube.

Today, a USA federal court ruled that President Donald Trump can not block his followers on Twitter.

The users said Mr. Trump was crimping their right to react in the public sphere.

Trump has been blocking tweets that criticize him.

She said the President could "mute" users, meaning he would not see their tweets while they could still respond to his.

Buckwalter had replied: "To be fair you didn't win the WH: Russia won it for you". Judge Buchwald said the president is no longer allowed to shape the conversation by icing out some of his critics.

"I sued the president, and I won", Ms. Buckwalter Poza said on Twitter. "You can't block others just because you don't like that they have to say".

"The President presents the (at) realDonaldTrump account as being a presidential account as opposed to a personal account and, more importantly, uses the account to take actions that can be taken only by the President as President", the judge said.

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First published May 23 at 10:15 a.m. PT. Update at 2:15 p.m. PT: Adds Justice Department and EFF statements.

"We respectfully disagree with the court's decision and are considering our next steps", Justice Department spokeswoman Kerry Kupec said in a statement.

"We hold that portions of the @realDonaldTrump account - the "interactive space" where Twitter users may directly engage with the content of the president's tweets - are properly analyzed under the "public forum" doctrines set forth by the Supreme Court", Buchwald ruled.

Twitter Inc. was not involved to the lawsuit and declined to comment.

"The essence of this ruling is that viewpoint discrimination is prohibited", Calvert said.

No matter what your political views are, I think we can all agree that the fact we live in a country where former reality TV star, and current United States president, Donald Trump may be held in contempt of court for not unblocking Stephen King on Twitter is reason enough to take a step back and examine ourselves, as a nation.

New York Southern District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald decided that this was indeed the case.

"The more important social media becomes to the public discourse, the more important it becomes to defend First Amendment rights on social media", DeCell said. The court's concern is that replies are a valuable means for the repliers to speak to fellow members of the public. "If all goes well, Hollywood will immortalize him as an evildoer who got his comeuppance". It argued that Trump's account constituted a public forum under the First Amendment, and that the White House was violating the plaintiffs' First Amendment right to petition their government for redress of grievances. Trump had argued that the court did not have the power to issue a direct order against the president.

The institute represented seven individuals who had been blocked by account.