Donald Trump can't block people on Twitter, judge rules

Trump's all-powerful Twitter reign is over

In New York Southern District the US District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald gave her decision on a petition registered by a group of seven followers who claimed that President Trump illegally blocked them from viewing his feed.

"My concern at the time, was this guy, with so much responsibility, who has all the nuclear codes, is so careless with a platform that is so powerful that he makes typos and doesn't care about it", Gu said Wednesday. A Twitter-wide ban cuts users off from the feeds of public figures with even more finality than a block.

The Justice Department has argued that Trump was acting in a personal capacity by blocking critics who often used "intentionally inflammatory language".

Gu said he believes he was blocked after responding to a Trump tweet in June 2017 in which the president touted his approval rating in a Rasmussen Poll.

Since then, he has built his following to 52.2 million and added another 3,400 tweets, including major policy and personnel announcements. Rex Tillerson learned he'd been fired from his job as Secretary of State by a tweet from this account, for example.

The court ruled that the people have a right to participate in a "public forum", which applies to social media.

She also pointed out that the National Archives considers @realDonaldTrump an official government document and requires that tweets be preserved as White House records.

"We respectfully disagree with the court's decision and are considering our next steps", Kerri Kupec, Justice Department spokesperson said.

Free speech advocates, though, hailed the ruling.

The ruling is being viewed as a victory for freedom of speech and the public's right to communicate opposing political views directly to elected officials and government agencies.

Anyone, regardless of whether they have a Twitter account, can generally view @realDonaldTrump tweets.

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It's not clear, as of this writing, how many Twitter users Trump has blocked - it could be a few dozen, it could be thousands.

Buckwalter had replied: "To be fair you didn't win the WH: Russia won it for you".

She was blocked previous year after tweeting to Mr. Trump: "To be fair you didn't win the WH: Russia won it for you".

And because of Trump's actions, the court concludes that the use of the account "is governmental in nature".

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

A United States district court has ruled that President Donald Trump can not block Twitter users from his account due to their political views.

Judge Buchwald said that the answer to both the questions was no. The court held that the official's Facebook page constituted a public forum and she had therefore violated the First Amendment when she blocked a critical constituent from commenting on it. Because Mr. Trump and Mr. Scavino also retain control over the account, she said, it's a government space as well.

Other media reports said the judge advised Mr Trump to mute critics if he doesn't want to see their activities, but they would be able to see and reply his own tweets.

Buchwald said Trump could opt to mute his critics instead.

"Given that no government office is above the law, we assume that the president and [Daniel] Scavino will remedy the blockade that we have considered unconstitutional", which the plaintiffs have to request to Trump, says Buchwald.

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