This decision is bizarre and will doubtless have all sorts of hilarious consequences.

The court, while not going so far as to enter an order against the president and social media director Dan Scavino specifically, ruled more generally that public officials violated users’ rights when blocking them on the platform. The decision says such action is “viewpoint discrimination,” and that “no government official — including the President — is above the law, and all government officials are presumed to follow the law as has been declared.”

First of all, I love that Twitter has now been declared a “public forum” and that viewpoint discrimination is no longer allowed.  This opens the door for lawsuits from numerous right-wing voices such as Milo Yiannopolis and Ricky Vaughn who the platform has banned over the years.  The second outstandingly good consequence is that I can resume bugging the shit out of my elected representatives knowing that they can’t block me.

I really have to wonder how far the idea of “viewpoint discrimination” can be taken.  Does this mean that Trump has to accept my phone calls?  Can I sit in on press conferences and ask questions like a journalist?  Can Fox News sue a future Democratic president for refusing to appear on the network?

All that aside, yeah, Trump might as well just mute the trolls.  He can’t use Twitter to make official statements and then block citizens from seeing it.  As far as that goes, the ruling makes sense.

Just imagine trying to explain “President Trump not allowed to block users on Twitter since he uses the platform to issue official proclamations” to someone just thawed out of ice from 2006.  That’s what’s truly bizarre.

4 comments

  1. So what about other users? Is everyone unblocked now? Taking this even further, can I still block unwanted calls? I can’t think of anything that could keep people off social media more than them not being able to block the trolls.

  2. That’s not a fair reading of the decision. The judge is not saying that Twitter is a public forum. What he is saying is that politicians’s tweets are and that the public has a right to read and respond to them. The President can still mute them. Trolls and so on can be banned. But blocking them is the equivalent of forbidding them from watching a public speech or reading a proposed law.

    I don’t quite agree but the decision isn’t as dubious as it seems on first blush.

  3. I know. I mentioned much of what you said about it making sense in the next-to-last paragraph. But the idea that Twitter is a “public forum” is a part of the suit.

    Since Trump uses this medium to communicate publicly, can Twitter actually ban anybody from using it in accordance with this ruling? Aren’t those who get banned being denied access even more thoroughly than the plaintiffs are?

  4. “Trolls”, can be blocked, but but no one else can be ? what constitutes a troll then? does this apply only to current office holders, just to Trump or to anyone in politics in general?

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: