Tags: Donald Trump | Trump Administration | twitter | users | lawsuit | trump | block

Twitter Users File Lawsuit Against Trump for Blocking Them

Image: Twitter Users File Lawsuit Against Trump for Blocking Them
(Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 11 Jul 2017 01:11 PM

A group of Twitter users who have been blocked from President Donald Trump's Twitter account sued the president and two White House aides, according to The New York Times.

The lawsuit filed on Tuesday argues that Trump's Twitter account infringes on First Amendment rights because it is a public forum that Trump, a government official, cannot restrict people from viewing because he disagrees with their views, according to the Times.

"The @RealDonaldTrump account is a kind of digital town hall in which the president and his aides use the tweet function to communicate news and information to the public, and members of the public use the reply function to respond to the president and his aides and exchange views with one another," the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit names Trump, White House press secretary Sean Spicer, and Dan Scavino, Trump's social media director. The plaintiffs want to be unblocked and they want a ruling that would prevent Trump from blocking anyone else because of disagreeing views, the Times reported.

The plaintiffs include Rebecca Buckwalter, a Center for American Progress fellow, who said she was blocked June 6 for replying to a Trump tweet, "To be fair you didn't win the WH: Russia won it for you."

Critics of the lawsuit said the Twitter handle is Trump's personal account, not an official government outlet, and that Trump had the same right to block people who disagreed with him as he does anyone, according to the Times.

Another criticism of the lawsuit states the minor amount of damage to the plaintiffs. Those blocked by Trump can still see his tweets if they do not log in to the site using the accounts that the president has blocked.

The Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University represents the blocked Twitter users. It addressed criticism of the lawsuit in a June 19 blog post.

The blog post noted a number of instances in which Trump used his Twitter account as an official communication channel, such as Trump announcing Christopher A. Wray as his FBI director nominee.

"By excluding those with opposing viewpoints, President Trump is manufacturing echo chambers in the discussions that surround his posts," the Knight Institute wrote.

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A group of Twitter users who have been blocked from President Donald Trump's Twitter account sued the president and two White House aides, according to The New York Times.
twitter, users, lawsuit, trump, block, social media
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2017-11-11
Tuesday, 11 Jul 2017 01:11 PM
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