Trump faces backlash from free speech institute over the blocking of Twitter users

William Gayde

TS Addict
Staff member

President Trump, known for his high profile and often incoherent Twitter ramblings, is now facing backlash from a free speech institute after he blocked a number of accounts that were critical of him. The @realDonaldTrump account has seen countless comment wars between Trump supporters and critics over his tweets and policies.

According to the Knight First Amendment Institute at New York's Columbia University, blocking users violates the First Amendment's freedom of speech clause. The group sent a letter to President Trump on Tuesday demanding he unblock the accounts in question. As a basis for their argument, the Institute is using previous cases based on other politicians blocking users on Facebook. They have compared Twitter comments to the digital form of a traditional town hall. Kicking people out who don't agree with your viewpoint undermines the fundamentals of democracy.

If they choose to pursue legal action against the Tweeter-In-Chief, Trump could claim the account is for personal use only as opposed to the @POTUS official account. The Institute said it would go after both accounts with "equal force."

Some of Trump's tweets have caused widespread criticism and in some cases, from both sides of the isle. There are rumors that White House officials have recommended he tone them down since some tweets may have legal ramifications. Recent tweets on his travel ban may affect his defense in court as well as overall policy.

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davislane1

Leftists: These tweets are so offensive!

Trump: *blocks those offended*

Leftists: MUH FREE SPEECH!

The lesson here: Never attempt to appease anyone to the left of right. They are dishonest, disingenuous, and dastardly. They are also very, very special.
 

Nitrotoxin

TS Addict
Leftists: These tweets are so offensive!

Trump: *blocks those offended*

Leftists: MUH FREE SPEECH!

The lesson here: Never attempt to appease anyone to the left of right. They are dishonest, disingenuous, and dastardly. They are also very, very special.
Block terrorists so they terrorise less... that is the goal. Get your head out of your ***!
 

Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
Considering the quality of Trump tweets (or lack there of) I'm surprised that anyone even bothers to listen any longer. The "fake news" does a pretty good job picking out the more interesting ones and reporting them ... why bother with the rest?
 
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EClyde

TS Evangelist
So much of the left lies. They make stuff up and they scream loud. They can all kiss my skinny proud to be white ***. Don't like me liking being white? Kiss my ***
 

Kotters

TS Maniac
Considering the quality of Trump tweets (or lack there of) I'm surprised that anyone even bothers to listen any longer. The "fake news" does a pretty good job picking out the more interesting ones and reporting them ... why bother with the rest?
Because it's a platform for exposure. The verified accounts that are complaining are the ones that would use his tweets to gain attention. Trump's tweets are absurdly popular, and it's quite easy to get the top reply by bitching about it in one way or another. When you're blocked, you can't respond to them with your primary, verified account.

You can read them and respond to them. But you can't use your face and checkmark while doing it, and that's why they're losing their ****.
 
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davislane1

You can read them and respond to them. But you can't use your face and checkmark while doing it, and that's why they're losing their ****.
Bingo. It has nothing to do with freedom of speech and everything to do with bigger social media stats. Normal media musings attract normal media musing hits. Starting threads based on Trump tweets gets viral exposure.
 
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psycros

TS Evangelist
If anyone finds Trump's tweets "incoherent" then I would suggest they take a remedial reading course. The Donald keeps his mass communications at about a sixth grade level. And a sixth grader could tell you that yet another group of i_diots trying to sue a social network into granting them special privileges will go about as well as the previous attempts.
 

Evernessince

TS Evangelist
If anyone finds Trump's tweets "incoherent" then I would suggest they take a remedial reading course. The Donald keeps his mass communications at about a sixth grade level. And a sixth grader could tell you that yet another group of i_diots trying to sue a social network into granting them special privileges will go about as well as the previous attempts.
No one here even mentioned that...

This article was about Trump blocking people on twitter, not about the coherency of his tweets. You can berate these people but it's not entirely clear cut how the law pertains to this new technology.
 
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Bubbajim

TechSpot Staff
Staff member
If anyone finds Trump's tweets "incoherent" then I would suggest they take a remedial reading course. The Donald keeps his mass communications at about a sixth grade level. And a sixth grader could tell you that yet another group of i_diots trying to sue a social network into granting them special privileges will go about as well as the previous attempts.
No one here even mentioned that...

This article was about Trump blocking people on twitter, not about the coherency of his tweets. You can berate these people but it's not entirely clear cut how the law pertains to this new technology.
I think this discussion needs more covfefe.
 

Nobina

TS Evangelist
Imagine how mentally ill you have to be to think that president of the US hasn't got the right to block you on Twitter.
 
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So did he block them from his own site or twitter in general? If he just blocked people from his private messaging board then I'm OK with it. I mean if you manage loads of forums and got to become president, does that mean that none of those forums could be moderated after that as you couldn't kick misbehaving people? If its someone else's message board and he banned people I would get it but it's not like the law requires the president to keep online service to get ridiculed on. The guy is a joke but this makes no sense.
 
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Skidmarksdeluxe

TS Evangelist
Those blocked can count themselves lucky. If I were in charge I'd have their vocal cords removed as well as their fingers... without anesthetic.
 

URUKHAI

TS Rookie
Am I mistaken or is the @realDonaldTrump account is his personal account to do with as he pleases (even if it has far reaching ramifications) as opposed to the @POTUS official account with which he tweets as a representative of the citizens of the United States. If so, why do you care if he blocks people he doesn't want appearing on his posts? More importantly, what's it to you? If someone was posting unfavorable/undesirable (to you) tweets on your Twitter stream, you can block them, right?
I do believe he should wait, at least an hour, before posting what's on his mind at the moment. That moment of reflection would save both him and the American people a lot of...consternation. On the other hand, if the ultimate goal is to stay at the top of the popular news heap (ala marketing 101, all press is good press), then all of his detractors are falling for it hook, line and sinker. Just my 2 cents.
 

Capaill

TS Evangelist
"after he blocked a number of accounts that were critical of him."
Ok, I'm confused. My reading of the article was that Trump had somehow blocked users' Twitter accounts - which should be impossible and not what I would expect Twitter to allow. But from the comments it's more likely that he blocked users from posting comments on his account - which is fine, we should all have the right to mute/block Aholes from trashing our personal accounts. So, which is it?
 
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Tanstar

TS Evangelist
"after he blocked a number of accounts that were critical of him."
Ok, I'm confused. My reading of the article was that Trump had somehow blocked users' Twitter accounts - which should be impossible and not what I would expect Twitter to allow. But from the comments it's more likely that he blocked users from posting comments on his account - which is fine, we should all have the right to mute/block Aholes from trashing our personal accounts. So, which is it?
It's the second. They are saying that because he is an elected, public official they shouldn't be blocked. It's a dumb argument.
 
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