Bad news, Mr. President: experts found that it may be unconstitutional for you to block Twitter users that disagree with you, and even hurt your feelings.
Blocking Users on Twitter May Be Unconstitutional
A group of law experts at Columbia University’s Knight First Amendment Institute claim that the U.S. Commander in Chief’s habit of blocking users on Twitter is not only unfitting for a world leader but also unconstitutional. The experts believe Trump is violating those users’ freedom of speech protections by suppressing speech in a “public forum.”
The institute’s experienced experts believe Twitter should be seen as a modern version of a public forum. Traditional public forums include town-hall meetings and public comment periods for new regulations. The freedom of speech of participants in both digital and traditional public forums should be granted, experts suggest.
In other words, elected officials are not allowed to pick who can and cannot reply to their tweets or other social media posts. Likewise, civil servants are not authorized to handpick those who will speak at a public hearing. This rule applies even when those people make politically motivated comments or comments that are not on a politician’s liking.
Trump Routinely Blocks Users with Opposing Views
The experts underlined that no one thought about this issue because no other U.S. president has been so prolific on Twitter as Trump is. The current president often sends out controversial tweets and blocks users that make negative remarks.
It is worth noting that Trump has surrounded himself with people that mostly agree with his opinions in the real-world settings too. His close aides include individuals who had endorsed him on the campaign trail, family members, and yes men.
He also called the media the enemy of the citizens for producing news stories that put him and his associates in a bad light.
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