United States judge: Trump can not block Twitter users

Federal Judge rules Trump can’t block people on Twitter

Federal Judge rules Trump can’t block people on Twitter

Donald Trump uses his Twitter account for policy and diplomatic announcements as well as to lash out at the media and special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

US President Donald Trump may not "block" Twitter users from viewing his online profile due to their political beliefs, a judge in NY has ruled.

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

There was no immediate response to the ruling from the White House.

The wording of the judge's ruling is unambiguous on this point, stating "the viewpoint-based exclusion of the individual plaintiffs from that designated public forum is prescribed by the First Amendment".

The First Amendment was filed against Trump by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Colombia University, along with a handful of other Twitter users.

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

"I sued the president, and I won", Ms. Buckwalter Poza said on Twitter.

But the judge's decision leaves open the possibility that Trump could ignore the ruling altogether. "I can just check his Twitter feed instead of Google his morning tirades", she said.

But if Mr Trump muted an account, he would not see that user's tweets but the user could still see and respond to his.

Mr Trump has over 52 million followers on Twitter, his preferred social media platform which he joined in March 2009.

On Wednesday, a federal judge in NY ruled Trump violates the First Amendment by blocking critics on Twitter for political speech.

"The answer to both questions is no", Buchwald said in her 75-page judgement.

Buchwald declined to wade into a "legal thicket" over the matter, saying she assumes that Trump or his social media director Dan Scavino, would go ahead an do it in the absence of an order.

Judge Buchwald said that proved he was engaging in viewpoint discrimination.

The US Justice Department, which represented Trump in the case, said it "respectfully disagreed with the court's decision and are considering our next steps".

As such, he is breaking the First Amendment on free speech by preventing people from being able to see his posts, responses to his posts, or contact him over the service - if they are logged in to Twitter. A city government can't say that only Republicans, Christians, or vegetarians are allowed to hold rallies in the town square, and it can't blacklist activists with a history of criticizing the mayor.

Trump isn't the first politician to face resistance for blocking critics from social media. The court decided that the president's own First Amendment rights did not override the plaintiffs.

Kentucky governor Matt Bevin won an initial court round this March in a lawsuit which alleges he violated free-speech rights by blocking people from his Facebook and Twitter accounts.

The Knight Institute lodged a similar challenge on behalf of a Virginia resident claiming that a local official's move to block him temporarily on Facebook also amounts to a First Amendment violation.

NY reports the Republican politician has blocked the likes of: law student Luke Waltham and lawyers Sylvia Onyejekwe and Rebecca Buckwalter-Poza.

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