Court Says It's Unconstitutional For Trump To Block People On Twitter, But Doesn't Actually Order Him To Stop

from the does-the-President-care? dept

Just last month, we noted that a court in Kentucky had ruled that the Governor of that state was free to block critics on social media accounts, saying that while people are free to speak, the First Amendment does not mean that the Governor has to listen. As we noted at the time, that ruling did not bode well for a more high profile case that was filed by the Knight First Amendment Center at Columbia University against President Donald Trump under similar circumstances. However, as you may have heard, a federal court in New York has now ruled that Trump's blocking is unconstitutional.

This is, not surprisingly, getting lots of attention, but many people commenting on it are not fully understanding the actual issues in the lawsuit (shocking, I know, that people doing legal analysis on the internet might sometimes not get it right...). As we've noted plenty of times in the past, the First Amendment does not apply to private platforms, and nothing in this ruling means that Twitter is a "public forum" (as some nuttier lawyers are trying to argue in other cases). Instead, the ruling is specific that it is just the commentary in response to Donald Trump that has become a public forum.

Though Twitter is a private (though publicly traded) company that is not government-owned, the President and Scavino nonetheless exercise control over various aspects of the @realDonaldTrump account: they control the content of the tweets that are sent from the account and they hold the ability to prevent, through blocking, other Twitter users, including the individual plaintiffs here, from accessing the @realDonaldTrump timeline (while logged into the blocked account) and from participating in the interactive space associated with the tweets sent by the @realDonaldTrump account... Though Twitter also maintains control over the @realDonaldTrump account (and all other Twitter accounts), we nonetheless conclude that the extent to which the President and Scavino can, and do, exercise control over aspects of the @realDonaldTrump account are sufficient to establish the government-control element as to the content of the tweets sent by the @realDonaldTrump account, the timeline compiling those tweets, and the interactive space associated with each of those tweets. While their control does not extend to the content of a retweet or reply when made -- “[n]o other Twitter user can alter the content of any retweet or reply, either before or after it is posted” and a user “cannot prescreen tweets, replies, likes, or mentions that reference their tweets or accounts,” ... -- it nonetheless extends to controlling who has the power to retweet or reply in the first instance.

Got that? It's an important nuance. Basically, the court is saying that because the President and his assistant "control" the space in which discussion occurs following his Tweets, that makes it a "designated public forum" and then, because it's the President and he is (duh!) a powerful government official, and government actors are not allowed to stifle protected speech, blocking accounts violates the First Amendment rights of those blocked. First, the court notes that that space in response to Trump's tweets is governmental in nature:

The President and Scavino’s control over the @realDonaldTrump account is also governmental. The record establishes (1) that the @realDonaldTrump account is presented as being “registered to Donald J. Trump, ‘45th President of the United States of America, Washington, D.C.,’” ... (2) “that the President’s tweets from @realDonaldTrump . . . are official records that must be preserved under the Presidential Records Act,” ... see 44 U.S.C. § 2202 (directing the retention of “Presidential records”; id. § 2201(2) (defining “Presidential records” as those created “in the course of conducting activities which relate to or have an effect upon the carrying out of the constitutional, statutory, or other official or ceremonial duties of the President”); and (3) that the @realDonaldTrump account has been used in the course of the appointment of officers (including cabinet secretaries), the removal of officers, and the conduct of foreign policy, ... -- all of which are squarely executive functions.... That is, the President presents the @realDonaldTrump account as being a presidential account as opposed to a personal account and, more importantly, uses the account to take actions that can be taken only by the President as President. Accordingly, we conclude that the control that the President and Scavino exercise over the account and certain of its features is governmental in nature.

And thus, blocking is unconstitutional under the First Amendment because blocking people based on what they've said is a content-based restriction on speech:

Here, the individual plaintiffs were indisputably blocked as a result of viewpoint discrimination. The record establishes that “[s]hortly after the Individual Plaintiffs posted the tweets . . . in which they criticized the President or his policies, the President blocked each of the Individual Plaintiffs,” ... and defendants do “not contest Plaintiffs’ allegation that the Individual Plaintiffs were blocked from the President’s Twitter account because the Individual Plaintiffs posted tweets that criticized the President or his policies.” ... The continued exclusion of the individual plaintiffs based on viewpoint is, therefore, impermissible under the First Amendment.

The court further finds that using Twitter's mute feature, rather than block, would be Constitutional, because that doesn't implicate the others' right to speak in that public forum (though it does stop Trump from seeing those tweets).

Given these differing consequences of muting and blocking, we find unpersuasive defendants’ contention that a public official’s muting and blocking are equivalent, and equally constitutional, means of choosing not to engage with his constituents. Implicit in this argument is the assumption that a reply to a tweet is directed only at the user who sent the tweet being replied to. Were that so, defendants would be correct in that there is no difference between the inability to send a direct reply (as with blocking) and the inability to have that direct reply heard by the sender of the initial tweet being responded to (as with muting). But this assumption is not supported in the record: a reply is visible to others, ... and may itself be replied to by other users.... The audience for a reply extends more broadly than the sender of the tweet being replied to, and blocking restricts the ability of a blocked user to speak to that audience. While the right to speak and the right to be heard may be functionally identical if the speech is directed at only one listener, they are not when there is more than one.

In sum, we conclude that the blocking of the individual plaintiffs as a result of the political views they have expressed is impermissible under the First Amendment. While we must recognize, and are sensitive to, the President’s personal First Amendment rights, he cannot exercise those rights in a way that infringes the corresponding First Amendment rights of those who have criticized him.

There is one odd bit that is not mentioned in most of the commentary on this ruling. And it's this: the court does not actually order Trump to stop blocking people. It just says that it's unconstitutional. Given the choice between giving the Knight Center injunctive relief (i.e., forcing the defendant to comply) and merely declaratory relief (i.e., telling the plaintiff they are correct), it chose the latter. It notes that there is some question of whether or not the courts can impose injunctive relief on a sitting President, and decides to side-step the question altogether.

While we find entirely unpersuasive the Government’s parade of horribles regarding the judicial interference in executive affairs presented by an injunction directing the President to comply with constitutional restrictions, we nonetheless recognize that “[a]s a matter of comity, courts should normally direct legal process to a lower Executive official even though the effect of the process is to restrain or compel the President.”

It does note that it could award injunctive relief against the guy who helps manage the Twitter account, Dan Scavino, but chooses not to. In effect, the court says that by granting declaratory relief and merely saying that this activity violates the First Amendment, that should be enough to convince Scavino and Trump to stop blocking:

Accordingly, though we conclude that injunctive relief may be awarded in this case -- at minimum, against Scavino -- we decline to do so at this time because declaratory relief is likely to achieve the same purpose. The Supreme Court has directed that we should “assume it is substantially likely that the President and other executive . . . officials would abide by an authoritative interpretation of [a] . . . constitutional provision,”... (“Were this court to issue the requested declaration, we must assume that it is substantially likely that [government officials] . . . would abide by our authoritative determination.”), and there is simply no reason to depart from this assumption at this time.

Given this particular administration, that seems like a mighty big assumption. The White House has, at the very least, already suggested it will appeal this ruling, so the issue of declaratory v. injunctive relief may not really be all that important or get much attention, but it does seem noteworthy that the court seems to say it doesn't need to order the President to do anything since it expects him to respect its ruling. Some people might fight that assumption somewhat laughable.

Meanwhile, this President, who has at multiple times claimed to be a huge First Amendment supporter, has lost a First Amendment case for stomping on the rights of some of the citizens of the country whose government he runs.


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 24 May 2018 @ 12:18pm

    'It's good to be king'

    Court finds that the president and the guy helping him with his twitter account are acting in an unconsitutional manner, doesn't actually tell them to stop, and merely expects that now that they know they're violating the constitution they'll stop doing it.

    'Yeah, you're guilty, but a punishment or telling you to stop breaking the law just seems so extreme, you know?'

    They might as well have quoted directly from Animal Farm in their ruling with the silk gloves they used here.

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 1:22pm

      Re: 'It's good to be king'

      ' It's good to be an unaccountable federal judge'

      This silliness is the work of lone judge NAOMI BUCHWALD -- Trump-hater ultra-liberal, appointed by Bill Clinton. Her law degree is from Columbia University and this Trump lawsuit originated from her buddies at Columbia. The Constitution is merely a convenient pretense -- hammering Trump is the objective, by any means within reach.


      UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

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      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 24 May 2018 @ 1:32pm

        Re: Re: 'It's good to be king'

        So she's a 'Trump-hating ultra-liberal'(and DISTRICT JUDGE, can't forget that of course) who despite being out to get him by any means didn't actually punish him in the slightest.

        Got it.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 3:11pm

          Re: Re: Re: 'It's good to be king'

          You are correct, but it will still win brownie points for them in a certain groups eyes. I don't think justice or constitutionality was a factor in this decisions.

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      • identicon
        Baron von Robber, 24 May 2018 @ 1:41pm

        Re: Re: 'It's good to be king'

        If you have the law on your side, argue the law; if you have the facts, argue the facts; if you have neither, pound the judge.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 3:08pm

        Re: Re: 'It's good to be king'

        lol

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      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 25 May 2018 @ 1:07am

        Re: Re: 'It's good to be king'

        No facts to defend your position, so ad hominem instead.

        "The Constitution is merely a convenient pretense -- hammering Obama is the objective, by any means within reach."

        I'm sure you were saying that during the last administration when he was having so many problems with the courts. Sure you were...

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    • icon
      Bergman (profile), 25 May 2018 @ 1:21am

      Re: 'It's good to be king'

      Title 18, Section 242 makes it a federal crime for anyone who owes allegiance to the United States, to deny or infringe upon any statutory, civil or constitutional right under color of law.

      Doing so is a high crime or misdemeanor. Given how Trump is about Twitter, wouldn't it be hilarious if abusing his Twitter account was what got him impeached?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 12:19pm

    The government does not create a public forum by inaction or by permitting limited discourse, but only by intentionally opening a nontraditional forum for public discourse.

    what we have termed ‘viewpoint discrimination’ is forbidden.

    How does this interact with Twitter's policies? The President has chosen a platform that has banned people for expressing certain viewpoints they deem offensive. If they can't use Twitter to petition the President to, say, harass the ethnic groups they dislike, does that pose a similar problem?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 12:41pm

    duplicate account

    I don't understand what prevents these blocked or banned people from just creating another account and *presto* unblocking themselves. Isn't that what every troll on the planet already does?

    And let's pretend for a moment that Twitter was right-wing instead of left-wing. What if Twitter moderators had intervened and disciplined people deemed adverse to Trump? Would that have been considered an illegal 1st amendment violation if a 3rd party does it?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 12:47pm

      Re: duplicate account

      No. The 1st amendment applies to censorship by the government and/or in government spaces. Twitter is free to censor whoever they choose for any reason on their own platform, even government employees.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 1:03pm

        Re: Re: duplicate account

        So you're basically saying that it's alright for Twitter moderators to act as volunteer brownshirts and do the president's dirty work for him, thus allowing him to wash his hands of it?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 1:25pm

          Re: Re: Re: duplicate account

          Under current understanding of the First Amendment Law and application, yes. It's entirely legal and "ok" for Twitter to ban anyone they consider breaking their terms of services. It's their PRIVATE property and it's made available under certain circumstances. You don't have any more *right* to use their platform than I do to stand in your yard and accuse you of being a murderer. Users are granted a limited *privilege* not a right, there's a world of difference between the two.

          On the other hand, since the President is using Twitter as an official forum to announce his viewpoints and policies through his account, that account is no longer an account by a private citizen in a discussion and able to act as it wishes. The account is now an official forum and subject to all such laws governing official message forums.

          Twitter can either kick the President off their service (for breaking their TOS with whatever excuse) or allow him to remain and accept any such problem such government mouth piece accounts create.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 3:15pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: duplicate account

            "The account is now an official forum and subject to all such laws governing official message forums."

            Okay, show us this law saying Trump cannot block people? I am not saying it does not exist, but I already know the constitution does not say it and neither do I know of any other laws that require Trump receive any portion of the media.

            And before you go trying to pull out the 1st in ignorance, that only says Congress cannot make any laws. Trump is Executive Branch, NOT Congress which is part of the Legislative Branch.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 3:25pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: duplicate account

              Found the perfect link for you: https://kids.laws.com/first-amendment

              The important bit is this:

              The First Amendment of the United States Constitution stops the government from making any laws that may stop us from saying what we feel or think. The American people have the right to share their opinions with other people or criticize the government.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 4:27pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: duplicate account

                lol, that is NOT what the 1st says.

                THIS is what the 1st says.

                "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

                What is even better, you missed this other part.

                "The American people have the right to share their opinions with other people or criticize the government."

                Read it again, it says to share with other people... it does not say that other people have to listen or even accept a mechanism that forces them to listen.

                You see... you can post anything you want, but you cannot make people read it! Trump Blocking people does not run afoul of the 1st no matter how much your "feelings" need it to.

                You folks are seriously going off the rails. I don't even like Trump but you folks are so bent out of shape over Trump you will intentionally twist crap to mean something it does not. And do you know what happens when you do that? You start to literally speak another language. When you start talking in another language only the people that speak your language can understand you.

                Stop trying to make words up to mean something they do not mean. The only result will be that diplomacy is off the table and physical violence comes shortly after that. So keep trying to make words mean something they don't. You will remain poor and feeble while the rich lord their wealth and understandings over you!

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 4:32pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: duplicate account

                  I never said it forces anyone to listen. In fact, I've said the opposite several times now. Stop using lies to smokescreen reality. Believe what you like, your entire argument is wrong and spam posting your garbage changes nothing.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 4:54pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: duplicate account

                    "I never said it forces anyone to listen."

                    don't play coy now. If you agree with the Claim that the judge made that Trump cannot "block" tweets then an action that "forces" people to listen becomes reality in action. You may not have said it in those words, but that is what it means in a final analysis. The only problem here is the idea that Trump must allow others to communicate with each other through his twitter feed and that is not something the Constitutional says is a requirement. The government does have the authority to host public forums as it sees fit and makes up quite a lot of rules that prevent people from voicing their opinions. If you don't believe me go to the next Presidential press conference and call him some names. Don't be surprised if you are not violently removed.

                    The 1st clearly states that Congress cannot make any kind of laws preventing US from interacting with each other via Media channels. It does not say that the government must facilitate that through any mediums it uses, because if they can... the every medium the government uses has be made available to the general citizenry, because if not, then right on its face the government has just intentionally used a medium for the express purpose of excluding public commentary and we all know that interpretation is a massive load of horse hockey! And that interpretation is being made here and is grossly ignorant and telling of this judges mental faculties!

                    "Believe what you like, your entire argument is wrong and spam posting your garbage changes nothing."

                    And you wonder why this nation is falling down all around you and why the government blanket ignores the Constitution. You can't even understand the English the Constitution is written in, there is surprise why the government has no respect for you. The only thing the government is going to tell you when you finally realize the mistake you made is... well you let us do it over here... this is the same thing. *click-clank" now your ass is in cuffs for being an idiot that allowed the government to corrupt the constitution because you couldn't be bothered to understand it!

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 8:24pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: duplicate account

                      You can't even understand the English the Constitution is written in

                      Given your grammatical errors and the fact that you completely misread the First Amendment, I'd say that actually would be you.

                      You may not have said it in those words, but that is what it means in a final analysis.

                      Oh yes, because you're such an excellent linguist yourself, you are obviously qualified to make such a determination.

                      The only problem here is the idea that Trump must allow others to communicate with each other through his twitter feed and that is not something the Constitutional says is a requirement.

                      No, but controlling who can and cannot speak is something covered in the Constitution, and it is strictly forbidden.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 25 May 2018 @ 3:40pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: duplicate account

                      That is why it's okay for Trump and anyone else to mute someone else on twitter so they dont have to hear the speech. However blocking the person removes their ability to speak which is what the judge was saying is unconstitutional.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 1:06pm

        Re: Re: duplicate account

        Twitter is free to censor whoever they choose for any reason on their own platform, even government employees.

        But are government employees allowed to choose a platform that chooses to censor, for use as a government forum? That would effectively allow them to outsource the "viewpoint discrimination" they can't do themselves, by selecting a platform whose censorship policies match their own ideology.

        E.g., could the President hold the State of the Union in a stadium with a policy of banning anyone who opposes tax cuts?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 1:38pm

          Re: Re: Re: duplicate account

          Ideally, all the president's communications should be government-run, 100% accountable, and fully archived. So no Twitter, No Facebook, no secret email servers in the closet, etc., etc.

          "E.g., could the President hold the State of the Union in a stadium with a policy of banning anyone who opposes tax cuts?"

          That sort of situation has already happened, as when anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan was arrested for the "crime" of wearing a T-shirt with a political message that the president would not have approved of.

          https://www.democracynow.org/2006/2/1/headlines/cindy_sheehan_arrested_for_wearing_anti_war_t_sh irt_at_bushs_address

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 1:54pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: duplicate account

            That sort of situation has already happened

            I see no follow-up about that. Was she charged? Did she challenge the arrest as unlawful?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 2:02pm

          Re: Re: Re: duplicate account

          You mean like how they outsource other things like military funded research or intelligence and surveillance and hold them all to NDA's under the guise of "national security" totally preventing their access to the Media to report any wrongdoing?

          You don't say? Remember Snowden? Of course you don't!

          "E.g., could the President hold the State of the Union in a stadium with a policy of banning anyone who opposes tax cuts?"

          Yes he can, though it would not be a smart move. Any person or member of the press can be denied access to any government function. The 1st does not mean that media gets access... it only means that government cannot restrict the peoples access to the media and cutting media out is not the same thing.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 8:29pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: duplicate account

            You don't say? Remember Snowden? Of course you don't!

            You serious dude?

            Yes he can

            No, he can't.

            Any person or member of the press can be denied access to any government function.

            A private government function is not the same as a public appearance that is typically open to anyone.

            it only means that government cannot restrict the peoples access to the media and cutting media out is not the same thing.

            That's not entirely accurate. It would be more accurate to say that the government cannot restrict the right of the people to speak their mind, especially if it concerns, or is directed at, the government.

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    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 25 May 2018 @ 1:12am

      Re: duplicate account

      "I don't understand what prevents these blocked or banned people from just creating another account and *presto* unblocking themselves."

      Do you understand why people can;'t just change their clothes, put on a beard and try to get back into the town hall in the physical world?

      "And let's pretend for a moment that Twitter was right-wing instead of left-wing"

      Citation needed for them being "left wing". No, blocking some neo-Nazi accounts doesn't count.,

      "Would that have been considered an illegal 1st amendment violation if a 3rd party does it?"

      If a private party does it of their own volition, that's completely different from the government themselves doing it. Pretty basic facts here, I'm not sure why Trump defenders have such a hard time with simple truths.

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 12:51pm

    this is bullshit!

    There is no constitutional requirement for the government to fucking listen to you or to let you rattle your shit on any site it sets up.

    The only requirement is that government cannot make a law preventing your access to the Media, and Trump blocking your ass is NOT THAT!

    Twitter is a private company, they can block or allow anything they want. It does not become a constitutional issue whether Twitter or Trump blocks tweets.

    Twitter totally has the complete rights to also kick Trumps ass off twitter too!

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 12:52pm

      Re: this is bullshit!

      Wow, someone isn't familiar with the very first amendment.

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      • identicon
        Baron von Robber, 24 May 2018 @ 1:03pm

        Re: Re: this is bullshit!

        It's how Russians and fans of Russia roll.

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        • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 1:11pm

          Re: Re: Re: this is bullshit!

          It's how clueless fucking retards like you roll.

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          • identicon
            Baron von Robber, 24 May 2018 @ 1:24pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: this is bullshit!

            Don't melt, snowflake. That makes global warming real.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 1:44pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: this is bullshit!

              It looks like you folks are melting.

              If you have the ability to contort the 1st into some strange logic that the President cannot block someone on twitter means your little brains are over heating like mad.

              wait a minute... you might be onto something. The heat from global warming might be coming from overheating little minds and of course you would blame it on someone else... classic move!

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              • identicon
                Baron von Robber, 24 May 2018 @ 1:58pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: this is bullshit!

                Stop melting. It's embarrassing.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 2:03pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: this is bullshit!

                  *tee hee*

                  Remember, your cheeks are the red ones! By you own admission too!

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 2:17pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: this is bullshit!

                    "Remember, your cheeks are the red ones! By you own admission too!"

                    Back to English school, Vlad.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 4:19pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: this is bullshit!

                      I get it... you are claiming that I am Russian.

                      That would be sad if true, that would mean a Russian understands the Constitution more than a judge or the citizens it was written for. Not surprising, considering that most citizens could not pass a citizenship exam and that you can find two judges that would disagree on anything including the constitution.

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 8:30pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: this is bullshit!

                        that would mean a Russian understands the Constitution more than a judge or the citizens it was written for.

                        Or it could just mean you're an idiot, which is far more likely.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 1:10pm

        Re: Re: this is bullshit!

        Stupid people like you are far too abundant.

        "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

        The government does not run twitter. Twitter can be used by government officials it if it likes, but it does not run it. The president has no constitutional requirement to listen to anyone on twitter and can block any one or anything he likes.

        Expect this courts ruling to be overturned.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 1:26pm

          Re: Re: Re: this is bullshit!

          The president has no constitutional requirement to listen to anyone on twitter

          Not specifically Twitter but any place where he interacts with the public, he is required to listen to them and allow them to speak. See the First Amendment. Blocking them not only prevents him from listening to the public, it prevents the public from being able to speak and communicate in a public way to him.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 1:40pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: this is bullshit!

            You are wrong, there is no "constitutional requirement" for the government accept the media or listen to it. The government has no constitutional requirement to receive the media or any citizen either.

            The 1st also says "Congress shall not", it says nothing about the Executive Branch.

            "Blocking them not only prevents him from listening to the public, it prevents the public from being able to speak and communicate in a public way to him."

            That statement would win gold at the stupid Olympics. Twitter is hard the ONLY communication tool that people can use. You can write a letter, which also can be ignored. You can make a phone call, which can also be ignored. You can even take out an ad in a newspaper which can *gasp* be ignored too.

            The President has zero constitutional responsibility to listen to a single citizen, unless that Citizen is sitting on a jury rendering a guilty/not guilty verdict!

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 3:06pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: this is bullshit!

              You're correct insofar as there is no requirement that Trump listen to anyone. But he cannot bar those people from speaking as a Twitter block does. He can instead mute them on Twitter which allows them to speak but prevents himself from having to see or read their speech. The latter is totally legal, the former is not.

              Does that make sense now? Or will your little tirade of insults continue?

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 4:03pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: this is bullshit!

                "But he cannot bar those people from speaking as a Twitter block does."

                Are you making the statement that when Trump blocks someone that they are blocked from all of Twitter?

                "He can instead mute them on Twitter which allows them to speak but prevents himself from having to see or read their speech. The latter is totally legal, the former is not."

                Hold up, you are convoluting two totally different items.
                "Consitutional" is not equal to "Legal".

                Things can have a legal component without having a constitutional one. If you are making the statement that there is a law preventing Trump from blocking folks on twitter then lets have that law discovered. I am okay with that.

                The problem here is that the Judge and many exceptionally ignorant people around here are advancing that there is a "constitutional" issue at play and that is just simply not the case here. If it were, then we have about 200 years of correspondence that goes through the Whitehouse that needs to become public knowledge. Twitter is not the only media platform that surrounding the government and trump is NOT required to allow people to call up newspapers and force fucking statements into them when he calls a damn press conference.

                Government blocking you on twitter is the same as disinviting the press or any other member of the public to government functions and total legal and constitutional!

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 8:39pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: this is bullshit!

                  Are you making the statement that when Trump blocks someone that they are blocked from all of Twitter?

                  No, he's not, learn to read. He's saying that when Trump blocks someone, it prevents them from taking part in any further discussion in reply to Trump's tweets.

                  Hold up, you are convoluting two totally different items. "Consitutional" is not equal to "Legal".

                  What? Just, what? You're saying the Constitution is illegal then?

                  Things can have a legal component without having a constitutional one.

                  No, that would then make it unconstitutional as the Constitution trumps (no pun intended) all other laws.

                  The problem here is that the Judge and many exceptionally ignorant people around here are advancing that there is a "constitutional" issue at play and that is just simply not the case here. If it were, then we have about 200 years of correspondence that goes through the Whitehouse that needs to become public knowledge.

                  Then maybe it should become public knowledge?

                  Twitter is not the only media platform that surrounding the government and trump is NOT required to allow people to call up newspapers and force fucking statements into them when he calls a damn press conference.

                  Grammar man, learn it. There are a lot of differences between Twitter and a newspaper but have you not heard of the opinion section? Or the letters to the editor section?

                  Government blocking you on twitter is the same as disinviting the press or any other member of the public to government functions and total legal and constitutional!

                  No, there is a difference between private government functions, like a press conference, and speaking in a public place. Twitter is more like the latter, since his tweets are public, even if Twitter is a private entity.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 3:10pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: this is bullshit!

              "The 1st also says "Congress shall not", it says nothing about the Executive Branch."

              Just lol.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 9:25pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: this is bullshit!

              You are wrong, there is no "constitutional requirement" for the government accept the media or listen to it.

              So this "the right of the people...to petition the Government for a redress of grievances" is what then?

              That statement would win gold at the stupid Olympics. Twitter is hard the ONLY communication tool that people can use. You can write a letter, which also can be ignored. You can make a phone call, which can also be ignored. You can even take out an ad in a newspaper which can gasp be ignored too.

              Way to completely misread my statement. But let's say you're right and the president can block whoever he wants on whatever platform he wants. Then essentially he can block ALL platforms and ALL people. So then what's to stop him from blocking all freedom of speech?

              Your logic has a hole so big I could drive a freighter through it. The first amendment exists to guarantee the people freedom of speech, especially if the government tries to restrict it, and not just the legislative but also the executive and judicial branches. By your logic, the president could completely nullify the first amendment, not just for himself but for the entire government. I'd like to see you try explaining that one.

              The President has zero constitutional responsibility to listen to a single citizen

              You are technically correct, but he can't shut them up either.

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          • icon
            dropcap (profile), 24 May 2018 @ 3:06pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: this is bullshit!

            The decision actually says there's no requirement to listen, but it distinguishes between muting as a way for them to simply ignore an account, and blocking as a way to prevent that account from participating in the forum.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 3:22pm

          Re: Re: Re: this is bullshit!

          You wanna put your name on thatstatemrnt so we can call you out later when it isn’t? Or are you just a shit talking little bitch?

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 3:53pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: this is bullshit!

            Now that is cheeky, an AC bitching about another AC for being AC.

            No, I have learned history.

            I have seen what society does to those whom speak the truth.

            You like to ridicule, perform public assassinations, become physically violent and abusive, and even murder them.

            Please tell me why anyone with wisdom would submit their identity to a violent and mentally immature malcontent such as yourself?

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 5:15pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: this is bullshit!

              Careful, you are currently projecting at an almost Trumpian level. I’ve yourself or you’ll wear yourself out before you’ve had a chance to completely embarrass yourself.

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 25 May 2018 @ 1:16am

          Re: Re: Re: this is bullshit!

          "The government does not run twitter."

          No, but it runs Trump's Twitter account. If you disagree, I take it you support your constitutional rights being revoked so long as the government hands them over to a handy 3rd party first?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 1:18pm

      Re: this is bullshit!

      There is no constitutional requirement for the government to fucking listen to you or to let you rattle your shit on any site it sets up.

      Moron meet First Amendment, First Amendment, this is a moron.

      The only requirement is that government cannot make a law preventing your access to the Media

      Well actually:

      "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

      Media and speech are two different things but covered equally.

      Trump blocking your ass is NOT THAT!

      He is actively blocking people from speaking to him in a public forum or petition for a redress of grievances.

      Twitter is a private company, they can block or allow anything they want.

      Agreed. But Twitter is not doing anything in this case. Trump is the one taking actions.

      It does not become a constitutional issue whether Twitter or Trump blocks tweets.

      If Twitter does it, you are correct. If Trump does it, see First Amendment.

      Twitter totally has the complete rights to also kick Trumps ass off twitter too!

      They do, and if it wouldn't create other headaches and problems, I would love to see them do it, just to see him go nuclear. (no pun intended)

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 1:30pm

        Re: Re: this is bullshit!

        It is only the stupid people of today that can come up with with the absolute bullshit you just came up with.

        Trump can legally and constitutionally block whoever he wants.

        Trump is NOT FUCKING CONGRESS! "Congress shall make no law"

        Why are you people so fucking stupid? And you wonder why people treat you like idiots?

        The president is the Executive Branch. It can turn the media away all day fucking long and has done so many time over the course of history. Not only that, the government does not even have to say a single fucking word to the Media. Neither does the government have to accept anything the media says to it.

        The law just says that "Congress" cannot make a law.
        There is NOTHING stopping the "Executive Branch" from ignoring the media all it wants or straight up blocking people on any platform it uses. Not only that, the people are only free to use the media, there is NO requirement for the media to allow people to use it! If people want to prevent the president from blocking them, they can make their own fucking twitter and then invite Trump to use that platform where they can then block trump from blocking anything. But trump still has the power to leave that platform if he wants. There is just no constitutional basis for this ruling. Only an utter fucking moron does not get this!

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 2:00pm

          Re: Re: Re: this is bullshit!

          >*" ... Why are you people so fucking stupid? ... "*

          I'm a bit ashamed to admit it, but I actually agree with you sometimes, and if you would just tone down the fight-baiting a notch, maybe more people would take your comments more seriously instead of just reflexively clicking the "flag" button.

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            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 2:09pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: this is bullshit!

            I am unconcerned with whether they flag me or not.

            I will agree with you that honey is more effective at gathering the flies than vinegar. But the intention is not to win them over. The intention is to prove a point I have been trying to make here for a long time.

            As you have said, "maybe more people would take your comments more seriously instead of just reflexively clicking the "flag" button."

            I have been trying to get them to understand that they care far too little about the "truth". And because they value it so little, they can be made to work against it with only just a little bit of social engineering.

            Truth must be so paramount that people will recognize it, even if the most vile rhetoric joins it! That is how critical it is it understand truth.

            As a human, I only know far too well how we will justify all manor of lies to justify ourselves. I am not perfect, nor am I any better than these people, but I can say that unlike them, if truth shows up, I will accept it no matter how much crow I have to eat.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 2:24pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: this is bullshit!

              If you spoke the truth you might have a point. You don't, therefore no one listens to you.

              Most if not all of your assertions are directly contradicted by hard facts, most notably the text of the Constitution. How are we supposed to believe you speak the truth when you can't even get your facts right?

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                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 2:36pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: this is bullshit!

                It is because I speak the truth that people hate me so much.

                Many people cannot accept the truth because it requires them to accept that they are wrong. And because many people here at TD are quiet grandiose in their hubris, truth is just not very acceptable around here.

                "Most if not all of your assertions are directly contradicted by hard facts, most notably the text of the Constitution."

                You are wrong and you know it. The problem is that now that you have bought into a lie you cannot step away from it, because to do so means admitting that you failed to understand the 1st.

                The 1st says Congress, Trump is Executive. Additionally it only says congress can make no law. Trump blocking someone on twitter is not equivalent of making any kind of law. Further more the tools for that action are provided by Twitter, not Trump, for him it is just a button. Twitter actually processes the blocking, whom, is a private entity. In fact Twitter additionally has no requirement to deliver tweets tot he president and actively block other people based on it's own terms of service and entirely within its rights to do so.

                Not only are you wrong about the 1st, you cannot even understand basic English and you are equating an Amendment written against Congress that also explicitly mentions Congress by name as though it also applies to the Executive Branch.

                If anyone needs to be getting facts right around here it would be you. And while you are at it... consider the truth, instead of your dogma as packaged for you by your politically biased leaders.

                You can look forward to this ruling being overturned if it makes it to SCOTUS, and they are notoriously anti-media as it is.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 3:10pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: this is bullshit!

                  It is because I speak the truth that people hate me so much.

                  This is patently false. People hate you because of your childish rants and insults. The truth is the truth. Some will hate others for it (as you do to those in this community) but it's undeniable if it's true.

                  On that point, you're still wrong. The truth here is that Trump may not prevent anyone from speaking in a public forum. A Twitter block does exactly that. He can use mute instead if he doesn't want to read what someone posts. There is no requirement that our voices be heard, only that we are allowed to voice.

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                    identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 3:39pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: this is bullshit!

                    "This is patently false." here is some interesting reading

                    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/06/lying-hoax-false-fibs-science/

                    "People hate you because of your childish rants and insults."

                    And yet they like others that display childish rants and insults that advance falsehoods! If what you say were the truth, they would equally reject the lies because those too are advanced using childish rants and insults. Your argument is intentionally discounting the performances of those attempting to nay say which renders it meritless.

                    "The truth is the truth."

                    I completely agree with that statement.

                    "The truth here is that Trump may not prevent anyone from speaking in a public forum."

                    But that is NOT what is happening here. When Trump blocks someone are you saying they cannot Tweet to anyone else? If so then sure that is not constitutional, but that is not happening now is it? IS IT? You are intentionally offering up a totally dishonest narrative to deceive people!

                    "There is no requirement that our voices be heard, only that we are allowed to voice."

                    This part is actually correct, but you appear to be implying that Trumps twitter account is a component of that... and that is just not factual.

                    I don't even have a twitter account and I can read everything the President Tweets. Not only that people that do have account can still tweet all they want, regardless of who is listening.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 9:33pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: this is bullshit!

                      here is some interesting reading

                      What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

                      If what you say were the truth, they would equally reject the lies

                      We ARE rejecting the lies. Yours.

                      Also, grammar and logic man! Holy crap you suck at both.

                      But that is NOT what is happening here

                      Yes it is, by using Twitter to speak to the public, his tweets and their replies are now a public forum, even if the rest of Twitter is not.

                      When Trump blocks someone are you saying they cannot Tweet to anyone else?

                      That's not what he said. Your lack of understanding of the English language is astoundingly appalling.

                      you appear to be implying that Trumps twitter account is a component of that... and that is just not factual.

                      Because it is an official government account, yes, it is a component of that.

                      I don't even have a twitter account and I can read everything the President Tweets.

                      But if you did and he blocked you, then you would have to log out of Twitter to view them.

                      Not only that people that do have account can still tweet all they want, regardless of who is listening.

                      But once he blocks them, they can no longer reply to him or take part in any of the discussions that do reply to him. That's the kicker.

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                    • icon
                      PaulT (profile), 25 May 2018 @ 1:22am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: this is bullshit!

                      "When Trump blocks someone are you saying they cannot Tweet to anyone else?"

                      No, he's saying that they cannot use the public forum, which is the forum that the president is using - his particular account. Put it this way - if you're blocked from entering the court room in which a particular trial is taking place, it's not good enough to point out all the other court rooms in the building. You still cannot participate in that trial.

                      "I don't even have a twitter account and I can read everything the President Tweets."

                      But, you cannot respond in the same forum. That's the point.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 3:27pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: this is bullshit!

                  We don’t hate you. You aren’t birighy enough to warrant that. We are just trying to get you to understand some very basic things about social interaction that most humans have figured out by age 10 or so. But you’re right your martyr complex crown of thorns looks nice on your dunning-kruger deflect all trench coat.

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                    identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 3:48pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: this is bullshit!

                    "We don’t hate you."

                    Some of you do, as evidenced by some of the people saying they or other people hate me.

                    "We are just trying to get you to understand some very basic things about social interaction that most humans have figured out by age 10 or so."

                    The problem is that you are the ones interacting at a juveniles mental level. You see, only the juvenile mind focuses on the insults, a wise person focuses on the truth. Anything can be perceived as an insult, especially to the emotionally immature and is quite evident around here when all the people start complaining about my insults.

                    The reason I employ insults in what I say is because they are constantly employed against me. But I have yet to see a single one of you admonish anyone else on your side when they lob insults. There is a very clear case on hypocrisy to be made against many of you.

                    You are childish in the extreme, you are more interested in having an echo chamber, you don't care about the truth, you only care about how statements "feel" regardless of how true or false they are. In fact over the years many people have said that they agree with things I have said but hate it still because of how I say them.

                    In case you have not noticed, but there is a running trend here. Only certain groups are allowed to insult while others are not. First overcome your own hypocrisies about insults before you can see clearly enough to correct me on mine!

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 9:39pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: this is bullshit!

                      only the juvenile mind focuses on the insults, a wise person focuses on the truth.

                      Well that must make you a juvenile then because there is very little truth in anything you say.

                      But I have yet to see a single one of you admonish anyone else on your side when they lob insults. There is a very clear case on hypocrisy to be made against many of you.

                      Fair point. That doesn't mean you aren't also in the wrong as well. And many here only insulted you because you insulted them first. Not that that is ok either but you're not going to get anyone to stop insulting you if you keep leading with them. So if you want to complain about the insults, maybe try not leading with them and constantly dishing them out?

                      you don't care about the truth, you only care about how statements "feel" regardless of how true or false they are

                      [Citation needed]

                      First overcome your own hypocrisies about insults before you can see clearly enough to correct me on mine!

                      As stated above, you regularly lead with insults first so the hypocrisy extends to you as well.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 9:12pm

          Re: Re: Re: this is bullshit!

          Trump can legally and constitutionally block whoever he wants.

          The courts and 200+ years of case law say otherwise.

          Trump is NOT FUCKING CONGRESS! "Congress shall make no law"

          Yeah, we heard you the first time. Even if you're right and it doesn't apply to the president, HE STILL HAS TO MAKE THE FREAKING LAW THAT ALLOWS HIM TO DO THAT!!! He hasn't passed a law saying that he can, therefore he is doing it against over 200 years of legislative and judical case law. Not to mention that if he did, it is likely the judicial branch would strike it down based on past case law. So just shut up about this already.

          And I'm pretty sure when the founding fathers wrote the Constitution, that is not a power they intended to give the president, considering it was a singular, powerful ruler that they successfully rebelled against that did the same thing to them and ticked them off. Reading it that way is beyond idiotic and strays into the deliberate.

          Why are you people so fucking stupid?

          You first.

          Neither does the government have to accept anything the media says to it.

          The government also can't shut it up though.

          There is NOTHING stopping the "Executive Branch" from ignoring the media all it wants

          And no one is saying otherwise. Ignoring and restricting are two different things. Which is why the discussion of muting vs blocking was important.

          or straight up blocking people on any platform it uses.

          As I explained before, yes there is. Whether you like it or not, for the past 200+ years, this is the way it has been interpreted by official judicial case law, including multiple Supreme Court cases. The founding fathers did not intend it the way you claim. If you think that, then you REALLY need to go back to school and take a history class.

          The rest of your comment is just inserting things no one said or implied into the conversation.

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    • identicon
      anon, 25 May 2018 @ 10:10am

      Re: this is bullshit!

      wow, this went on for a while. not an expert, and can see a literal interpretation of the first to read congress specifically. as i didn't see it i looked and elsewhere i found some supreme court case law(perhaps the dreaded 'common law'?) that indicated the court found public officials unable to bar people from using a public forum. specifically a government council could not stop a production of 'hair' from being played in a government presentation building according to Rosenberger v University of Virginia due to the fact that it would be prior restraint, or a barring freedom of expression. i think it is possible that is how it links to the first amendment.

      so building off of that, and i'm sure other things, the judge rendered her decision that twitter accounts run by the government for government purposes could bar people from the proceeding.

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  • icon
    renato (profile), 24 May 2018 @ 2:09pm

    If the judge should not compel the Executive into acting, but just indicate how it should act, why not serve an injunction to Twitter, which they can do. As it is considered a government tool, wouldn't it be easier to force Twitter to disable the block function for the accounts related to government officials?

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 4:16pm

      Re:

      "why not serve an injunction to Twitter"

      Because twitter can do what it wants! Twitter has no obligation to act as a member of government even if the government uses it platform. Further more if twitter can be forced to take action then twitter has to unban everyone it ever banned so that they can "at least" make twitter posts to the president and other government operatives.

      If using Twitter makes it an official Government forum then Twitter can no longer police the content for itself either.

      There is no end to how much you folks can contradict each other today!

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 4:36pm

        Re: Re:

        Any perceived contradiction is entirely due to your own lack of understanding. Your bias is preventing you from seeing the truth.

        Serving Twitter with an injunction to get them to revoke block privileges from identified government employee accounts used for government purposes is a far cry from telling Twitter it can't block or ban anyone.

        Reading comprehension is fundamental. You, sir, are simply mental.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 5:05pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          A private entity cannot be made to serve the government in this way, it runs afoul of the 5th Amendment, remember the case where the FBI was trying to get a judge to force Apple to write code that would let them hack devices? Yea... not constitutional on multiple fucking levels.

          No judge has the authority to control who twitter or its users can or cannot block even if the President is using it. That is just a simple fact no matter how much your bias needs it to be otherwise!

          "Reading comprehension is fundamental. You, sir, are simply mental."

          Sir, you wound me!

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          • icon
            renato (profile), 24 May 2018 @ 6:38pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I'm not American, and have only a small knowledge of its Constitutions (Does the 3rd really exists? I have never heard about it.)

            Government can, and do, interfere with private companies.
            A judge might force it to change its behavior to comply with the law.
            Or, the legislative can regulate how companies can or cannot act it some areas.

            As in the case of apple, it might need a more broad and generic approach, for example by requiring that all encryption should have a master key for the government fight evil terrorists.

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            • identicon
              Thad, 25 May 2018 @ 8:21am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I'm not American, and have only a small knowledge of its Constitutions (Does the 3rd really exists? I have never heard about it.)

              You don't hear much about the Third because it's the most uncontroversial amendment in the Constitution; it's never been challenged and never needed to be.

              It states that soldiers can't force private citizens to let them stay in their homes. It's a holdover from the Revolutionary War.

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    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 25 May 2018 @ 1:24am

      Re:

      "why not serve an injunction to Twitter"

      I'd say because it's more useful to get the government to act according to the constitution than it is to force private 3rd parties to police them.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 2:59pm

    No one in the Criminal government is following the law as everyone can see, new horror stories everyday and every second of the day emerge. The American government system is criminal, an organized crime syndicate of liars, thieves and murders.

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  • icon
    Dan (profile), 24 May 2018 @ 6:51pm

    FOIA vs. CFAA

    This ruling makes me wonder what would happen if the FOIA and the CFAA had a deformed child, out of wedlock?

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  • icon
    restless94110 (profile), 24 May 2018 @ 8:12pm

    Oopsie! Judge decides Social Media has to honor Free Speech

    So glad this activist judge has ruled that Free Speech must be strictly honored by all private social media companies. Now Congress does not need to act.

    Finally, Free Speech comes to social media!

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    • identicon
      ryuugami, 24 May 2018 @ 9:08pm

      I will use simple words.

      Do you even read words? There is a lot of words in the article. You have not read any of them.

      The judge said nothing to Twitter. The judge ordered nothing to Twitter. Twitter can block people. Twitter can kick people off. It's a private company.

      Trump is not a private company. Trump is the President. Trump uses his Twitter account for official government policy. Trump is not allowed to block people.

      Trump is not Twitter. Twitter is not Trump.

      Twitter is a private company. Twitter does not need to respect free speech. Twitter can block.

      Trump is the President. Trump does need to respect free speech. Trump can not block.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Jun 2018 @ 2:24pm

        Re: I will use simple words.

        The court ruled Trump can't restrict people's ability to read or tweet @ him.
        Therefore, Twitter also shouldn't have the ability to restrict who can read or be seen by the President's personal account.

        They ruled it was an official forum, after all.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2018 @ 9:19pm

      Re: Oopsie! Judge decides Social Media has to honor Free Speech

      I highly suggest you use this line of argument the next time you get banned from FB, Twitter, Steam, etc. Be sure to document the whole thing and get back to us!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 25 May 2018 @ 1:47am

      Re: Oopsie! Judge decides Social Media has to honor Free Speech

      "So glad this activist judge has ruled that Free Speech must be strictly honored by all private social media companies. "

      Except, that's literally not what just happened. They ruled that the President needs to honour free speech. That he chose a private platform to help him block it is immaterial here.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    erptree503, 24 May 2018 @ 11:40pm

    Oracle R12 Financials Training in Bangalore

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    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 25 May 2018 @ 5:37pm

    It's kind of convenient how simple reactions to this can boil down to.

    Every single person who doesn't understand the ruling thinks it's wrong.(usually because of things that only exist in their hallucinations, such as "twitter's not allowed to control itself anymorr", "Trump can't block anyone for any reason", "This violates Trump's rights", "activist judge", etc.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jun 2018 @ 2:21pm

    Twitter violates this by restricting accounts

    If the President is unable to block people from viewing his tweets, and him from viewing theirs, then how can Twitter remove someone's ability to tweet at the President?

    I'm speaking of when Twitter restricts an account, leaving only its followers able to see what it says. It's unlikely the President is a follower, and therefore, by restricting ability to be heard, it also restricts the ability to let the restricted account's thoughts be known on what they've ruled is an official, public forum.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 21 Jun 2018 @ 2:42am

      Re: Twitter violates this by restricting accounts

      "If the President is unable to block people from viewing his tweets, and him from viewing theirs, then how can Twitter remove someone's ability to tweet at the President?"

      Because Twitter is not a government entity, and the president is. If they did that at the direction of government it would be in violation of the same rules, if they do it purely as a private entity according to their own T&Cs, it's not.

      "what they've ruled is an official, public forum"

      They've ruled that for speech relating to the government, not for everything. Put it this way - if the local town square has a government meeting, they can't eject you for not being of the right political persuasion when you try to exercise your free speech. But, if the next night in the same square you're being an annoying asshole at an event not hosted by the government, they have every right to eject you.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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