First Amendment Institute sues Trump for blocking Twitter users

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US President Donald Trump is being sued by Columbia University’s Knight First Amendment Institute for blocking people on Twitter, citing violation of free speech provisions in the US Constitution. The Institute had earlier threatened legal action against the President and now seeks the court’s assistance to declare the viewpoint-based blocking of Twitter users as unconstitutional.

The lawsuit states that Trump’s Twitter account is a public forum where citizens have a right to speak under the First Amendment and blocking users impedes citizen’s right to participate in a political conversation and prevents access to official government communication.

While the White House treats President Trump’s tweets as official statements, preserving them as public presidential communications, it is much less clear whether the President’s Twitter page constitutes a public forum. There is a concern that if the lawsuit is successful, it could become more difficult to block people who use their accounts to troll or spam other users as blocking would constitute a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.