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Blocking People on Twitter?

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  • Blocking People on Twitter?

    The courts ruled that Trump can't block people on Twitter.

    Earlier today the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that Donald Trump cannot block Twitter users from following his @realDonaldTrump account. It’s an interesting decision from an ideologically diverse judicial panel that at first glance appears to be a straightforward application of conventional First Amendment law. It’s also wrong. It makes a crucial error that reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of speech on private social-media platforms.

    Boiled down to its essence, the court’s reasoning contained two key elements. First, it ruled that Trump’s Twitter account represents an outlet for official communications and interactions that is controlled by President Trump. Second, it found that under these circumstances, Trump’s decision to block users represents impermissible state action undertaken to suppress dissent.
    Now, is what the courts say is good for the Gander also good for the goose?

    Former Democratic New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind told Fox News on Tuesday he's preparing to sue Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., for blocking users on Twitter based on their personal viewpoints, following a federal appeals court ruling barring President Trump from doing the same.

    Asked where his lawsuit would be filed and whether other plaintiffs would be involved, Hikind told Fox News in an email, "All that’s being determined at the moment."

    "Most likely we will be [the] only plaintiff, but [we will be] citing other examples," Hikind continued. "The claim is [the] same as [the] one against Trump. She uses that account for political/policy commentary, so to shut a citizen off from her statements is a problem -- as well as blocking me from petitioning her or seeking redress."
    Hikind added that in addition to himself, “several others, including journalists" have been blocked entirely from viewing or interacting with Ocasio-Cortez's tweets. (Twitter also permits Ocasio-Cortez to "mute" users so that she cannot see their responses, without blocking them from viewing her tweets entirely -- a middle-ground option U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald had suggested to Trump.)
    I'm not sure if this is insane, or ridiculous, or both.

    Will someone sue Trump if he ditches his Twitter account altogether and moves to Parler?

    If Trump can't block people on Twitter due to free speech concerns, then can Twitter legally "shadowban" and throttle certain users as they have a reputation for doing? It is pretty well established that posts by certain users aren't given the same exposure as everyone else because Twitter may or may not agree with that user's politics. If Trump can't block people, then maintaining consistent logic would seem to dictate Twitter sure as heck shouldn't be able to limit the voices of other people.
    Last edited by WARFAB; 07-09-2019, 03:50 PM.
    NRA Life Member
    NRA Basic Rifle Instructor

    I was thinking of his cannon.