Twitter users, blocked by President Trump, cry censorship

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But then White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer helpfully confirmed just this week that anything Trump Tweets is as official as it gets.

Still, there's scant law on free speech and social media blocking, legal scholars note.

Alex Abdo, the institute's senior staff attorney, argued Twitter is akin to a town hall setting or public forum.

Morgan Weiland, an affiliate scholar with Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society, says the blocked tweeters' complaint could air key questions if it ends up in court. This is true even if the space in question is "metaphysical" rather than physical; even if the space is privately rather than publicly owned; and "even when the limited public forum is one of [the government's] own creation". Now, government officials are vociferous on Twitter-Donald Trump especially-and free speech experts say that creates constitutional obligations in the U.S., including keeping followers who aren't fans. In another of President Trump's tweets criticizing the mainstream media, United Press International writer Ben Hooper continued to push the conspiracy theory that Russian Federation somehow spread "fake news" in order to benefit Trump.

How does it hurt blocked Twitter users?

"Though the architects of the Constitution surely didn't contemplate presidential Twitter accounts, they understood that the President must not be allowed to banish views from public discourse simply because he finds them objectionable", Jaffer (also the Knight Institute's executive director) said in the release. That's because when a user is blocked on Twitter, they can no longer see a user's account, or comment on tweets the user has made. Because of that, the institution tells the president, "viewpoint-based blocking of our clients is unconstitutional".

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The key issue is ensuring citizens are not kept out due to their viewpoints or what they have to he said.

"But just because you are protesting doesn't mean a government official has to listen", he said.

Twitter users block people all the time.

Now, even his blocking of fellow Twitter users is under fire.

“This is not a Twitter account dedicated to personal interests and family affairs, ” Adbo said. If applied to the president however, a court ruling could trickle down to Congress and local politicians. "It was just not ever something that we even considered would be asked about because it just seemed to go without saying'". And, as Politico reports, a new poll shows that the majority of American voters - including the majority of Republican voters - agree on one thing: The president tweets too damn much. The Knight Institute said its arguments would apply with "equal force" to both accounts.

The new POLITICO/Morning Consult survey found that almost seven in 10 voters believe the president uses the social media platform too much and about 60 percent think his Twitter usage is a bad thing.

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