I thought we had heard this story before, but once again, an activist federal judge has ruled that Pres. Trump is not allowed to block his the critics that troll him every day.
I don’t doubt this is being done so that Trump either leaves the platform or is turned off by using it as a lot of individuals that he has already blocked will return to cause him issues every minute of the day.
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit handed down the unanimous decision writing that “The First Amendment does not permit a public official who utilizes a social media account for all manner of official purposes to exclude persons from an otherwise open online dialogue because they expressed views with which the official disagrees,” 2nd Circuit, Judge Barrington D. Parker wrote.
As I said, this ruling only cements an earlier ruling handed down last year, I do believe, which stated that Trump violated the First Amendment when he blocked individual users.
The original case was filed by seven snowflakes who the President had blocked on Twitter. While waiting for the appeal, Trump unblocked these individuals
“In resolving this appeal, we remind the litigants and the public that if the First Amendment means anything, it means that the best response to disfavored speech on matters of public concern is more speech, not less,” Parker stated.
I do have an issue with the ruling and even defense of the plaintiffs (blocked users). Their attorneys contended that Trump’s personal Twitter account is an extension of his presidency. My thinking was that ‘The President can’t block anyone on his official account but should be able to do whatever he wants on his own personal account, but somehow, these attornies were able to force the judge to think that both were connected.
They argued that Trump’s ‘personal’ account was also used to publish his policies and agenda, and that the comment section of Trump’s Twitter feed is no different from a town hall meeting, and that citizens should be able to talk directly to and engage in discussions of public policy with officials in government.
I can see both sides of the argument. That’s why it’s essential for him to be mindful of what he is tweeting, and from what account. For example, he tweeted about tariffs with India from his personal account. It should have been from his @potus account.
Once you start using someone else’s things, you subject yourself to their “rules.” This is why many people have two phones, one for personal things and one for private use. In the president’s case, he tweets from his @realdonaldtrump account from his “work phone” and uses it to conduct his daily business. He should use the @potus account, and then separate his policymaking into that account, and his private, personal tweets on his @realdonaldtrump account. That would fix this problem and allow him to block anyone he wants.
I haven’t read the full decision, but I would imagine that it would apply to the government in general, not just the President. The House of Representatives has a rule about using personal Twitter versus their official lawmaker account.