Yes, Trump Is Legally Allowed to Block People on Twitter


A federal district court judge ruled last week that President Trump cannot block people on Twitter, citing the First Amendment. This decision will be reversed because Twitter is a private company (merely publicly traded), not a public forum. Trump hasn’t bothered obeying the order and unblocking the people, no doubt because he knows it’s bad law.

The decision wasn’t even necessary, since anyone, including the blocked individuals, can see Trump’s tweets as long as they are not logged into Twitter. They merely can’t interact with him — he won’t see their tweets and he cannot tweet at them. But others can see their tweets at him. The six individuals who sued over being blocked claim this is “burdensome.” Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald agreed, calling it a “cognizable injury-in-fact.” However, if you’ve used Twitter, you know it’s a minor inconvenience at most.

Being prohibited from interacting with Trump is almost meaningless, considering he receives thousands of tweets a day and cannot possibly interact back with all of them. He rarely responds to tweets directed at him. He was never going to respond to these critics anyway.

Trump blocks people who disagree with him politically, mainly when they tweet rudely at him. He’s blocking bullies and trolls. The plaintiffs merely want to annoy him with their tweets. The account in question is @realDonaldTrump, which is not his official presidential Twitter account. However, he tweets about official issues related to the presidency.

Judge Buchwald stated in her opinion that the “interactive space” where Twitter users interact with Trump constitutes a public forum protected by the First Amendment. She admits, “for a space to be susceptible to forum analysis, it must be owned or controlled by the government.” She cites several examples of public forums but they are government property — public schools, public parks, city buses, federal workplaces. One exception she mentions is a privately owned theater under lease to a city, but that can be distinguished from Twitter, which is not on lease to the government. – READ MORE

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