According to a May 23 court decision, the President of the United States, Donald Trump, cannot block Twitter users because it violates their first amendment rights to participate in a “public forum.”
As The Guardian reported, United States district judge Naomi Reice Buchwald argued that Trump’s account is being used as a presidential account and not as a personal account, so the POTUS, as a democratically elected government official, has to follow the law and stay within the confines of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which protects the right to free speech.
The case was brought forward by a free speech advocacy group, the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University.
The same group published a press release today, requesting that Donald Trump unblocks Twitter users he has not unblocked yet. The group provided the Department of Justice with a list of 41 Twitter users who remain blocked by the POTUS.
Katie Fallow, a senior staff attorney at the Knight Institute, stated the following.
“As the district court has held, the First Amendment prohibits the president from blocking Twitter users simply because they’ve criticized him. Given that ruling, the president and his aides should unblock all of the Twitter users who have been blocked from the @realDonaldTrump account on the basis of viewpoint.”
According to The Hill, the Trump administration has filed an appeal of the court’s decision. The same outlet noted that the case involved seven Twitter users, all of whom were subsequently unblocked by the president. But, the Columbia University group is pushing further, asking for 41 more of the president’s Twitter critics to be unblocked.
— The Hill (@thehill) August 11, 2018
Donald Trump’s Twitter habits have been the subject of debate and criticism ever since the 2016 presidential campaign. In June this year, CNN published an analysis of the president’s Twitter account, arguing that his tweets are getting “more and more bizarre.”
According to CNN‘s analysis, the president is tweeting more, and he is doing so in unusual hours. His language has become stranger, with his tweets reading like “verbal vomit,” sometimes focused on the Special Counsel investigation into Russian election meddling.
The sheer volume of Donald Trump’s tweets, according to CNN, signals that the president’s Twitter habits have changed along with changes in the administration. With the administration becoming smaller, and with Trump’s inner circle contracting, the POTUS is backed into a corner and forced to seek refuge in social media rants.
The frequency and the time of Trump’s tweets have both changed, CNN concluded, making his Twitter feed more personal and even stranger than before.