President Donald Trump’s practice of blocking critics who follow and comment on his Twitter posts is an unconstitutional effort to suppress dissent, a lawsuit filed Tuesday by a First Amendment advocacy group in Manhattan federal court alleges.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of seven Twitter users blocked by Trump and the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, said Trump’s extensive use of tweets had turned his account into a “public forum” and couldn’t restrict access based on other users’ viewpoints.
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“It imposes an unconstitutional restriction on their participation in a designated public forum,” the suit said. “It imposes an unconstitutional restriction on their right to access statements . . . available to the public at large. It also imposes an unconstitutional restriction on their right to petition the government for redress of grievances.”
Trump’s account, @realDonald Trump, started in 2009 and currently has more than 33 million followers, who receive Trump’s tweets in their own accounts. His tweets can be accessed by anyone except for those who he blocks.
In addition to Trump, the lawsuit named press secretary Sean Spicer and social media director Dan…
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