TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -A group of Twitter users has sued Donald Trump and two White House communication aides. The users complain that their constitutional rights have been violated by blocking them from Trump’s personal Twitter account after they criticized the president.
According to The Guardian, the suit, which was was filed in federal court in New York on Tuesday, argues that Trump’s Twitter account, @realDonaldTrump, constitutes a “public forum for speech by, to, and about the President”. The plaintiffs are seeking an injunction requiring Trump to unblock their accounts and cease blocking others on the basis of their opinions.
Since Twitter users who have been blocked cannot read or respond to Trump’s tweets, the suit argues, blocking users for their political beliefs “imposes a viewpoint-based restriction on ... participation in a public forum” and violates the first amendment.
The blocked users cannot read or respond to Trump’s tweets, therefore the suit filled argues that this blocking users for their political beliefs “imposes a viewpoint-based restriction on ... participation in a public forum” and violates the first amendment
“It’s like barring people at the door of a city council meeting because they criticized your policy,” said Katie Fallow, a senior attorney at the Knight First Amendment Institute, which is representing the blocked Twitter users.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who is named as a defendant in the suit along with White House director of social media Dan Scavino, said in June that Trump’s tweets should be considered “official statements”.
The lawsuit advances novel legal theories about speech and civic participation at a time when Twitter is arguably the primary means of public communication employed by the president of the United States. Trump’s personal account has more than 33 million followers, and his tweets generally garner thousands of replies, dominate the news cycle and set the agenda for public debate.
Source: The Gurdian