Leave a comment

Is Donald Trump’s Twitter Feed A “Public Forum?”

This is precisely the question being raised by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University on behalf of two Twitter followers blocked by President Trump after they expressed critical or opposing views on the President’s personal Twitter feed, @realDonaldTrump.  In essence, these Twitter followers analogize their situation to one where a politician impermissibly blocks an individual from attending a town hall event held at a private location because the individual criticized that politician.  Twitter, they assert, is a “public forum” just like the town hall meeting, and as such, the President cannot refuse their entry or participation.  In blocking the Twitter followers, they allege the President violated their First Amendment rights to free speech.

In the U.S., the right to free speech is broad, especially as it applies to critiques of public officials.  Is it broad enough to prevent the President from blocking an opposing user from his personal Twitter feed?  While novel, it is an interesting question, especially in light of how frequently, and I daresay effectively, this President uses Twitter as a means of advancing his own political agenda.

The Knight Institute sent a letter to the President on June 6, 2017, demanding that he unblock the two Twitter followers and anyone else he has blocked.  Only time will tell if this demand ripens into an actual lawsuit.  If it does, you can be sure we will hear about it @realDonaldTrump.





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: