As perhaps the most controversial president we’ve ever had, it probably comes as no surprise that many people use Twitter as a means of attacking the president directly.
They can add his Twitter handle, @RealDonaldTrump, to their tweets and those tweets will show up in the president’s mentions. They can also reply directly to his tweets or retweet them with commentary.
Trump routinely blocks those who are critical of him.
And up until now that has been a user’s prerogative on Twitter.
A federal judge in the state of New York, ruled that it was unconstitutional for President Trump to block followers because it prevented those people from engaging in a political discussion on a public forum. The judge stated this was a violation of the first amendment rights of the people Trump was blocking.
You have to ask, how does this decision jive with companies like Twitter and Facebook shutting down the accounts of conservative voices?
And can the average citizen continue to constitutionally block people who they don’t want to engage with?
What about lower level public officials? Are they now required to not block anyone?
This decision could have far-reaching and unexpected ramifications when it comes to the intersection of free speech and social media. It will be interesting to see how it unfolds.