Trump is being sued by a First Amendment group for blocking Twitter users

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Trump is being sued by a First Amendment group for blocking Twitter users
The Verge ^ | July 11, 2017 | Adi Robertson

Posted on 7/11/2017, 5:06:23 PM by Innovative

Columbia University’s Knight First Amendment Institute is suing Donald Trump for blocking people on Twitter, claiming that it violates free speech protections. The institute filed suit today on behalf of seven Twitter users who were blocked by the president, which prevents them from seeing or replying to his tweets. It threatened legal action in a letter to Trump in June, and now “asks the court to declare that the viewpoint-based blocking of people from the @realDonaldTrump account is unconstitutional.”

The lawsuit, which was filed in the Southern District of New York, elaborates on the Knight Institute’s earlier letter. It contends that Trump’s Twitter account is a public political forum where citizens have a First Amendment right to speak. Under this theory, blocking users impedes their right to participate in a political conversation and stops them from viewing official government communication. Therefore, if Trump blocks people for criticizing his political viewpoints, he’d be doing the equivalent of kicking them out of a digital town hall.

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