Judge urges settlement in blockage of Trump tweets

In lawsuit over Trump's Twitter activity, judge suggests: Mute critics, don't block

Judge Says Trump Should Do What We All Do and Just Mute, Not Block, People He Doesn't Like on Twitter

A judge has advised US President Donald Trump to mute rather than block his Twitter critics after users of the service filed a lawsuit against him. Blocking certain users for mocking or criticizing the President, Fallow argued, is like Trump standing at the door of a public event and picking who's allowed to enter and participate in the debate.

"Isn't the answer that he just mutes someone he finds offensive?"

"He can avoid hearing them by muting them", she added. Justice Department lawyer Michael Baer, however, said that both muting and blocking users on Twitter are "within the president's associational freedoms".

Katie Fallow, a lawyer for the Knight Institute, said that she was receptive to the possible compromise.

People on Twitter are unable to see or respond to tweets from accounts that block them.

The government, though, says Trump's Twitter profile is a personal account, and thus not a public forum - even though he uses it to communicate with the world as a public official.

The brief goes on to argue that Trump's propensity to block his critics on Twitter is authoritarian and counterproductive to fostering democratic dialogue.

That is one of the questions posed in a lawsuit alleging that President Donald Trump has violated the constitutional rights of individuals he has blocked on Twitter, a medium that has come to define much of his public persona. They claimed the president blocked them because they criticised him.

Nicholas Pappas, a comedy writer and one of the seven plaintiffs, told a gathering of reporters after the hearing that it would be "a great solution", if he were muted, rather than blocked, by the @realDonaldTrump account.

To deny some Twitter users the ability to view and reply to these tweets is to deny their First Amendment right, the Knight Institute contends.

"Once it is a public forum, you can't shut somebody up because you don't like what they're saying", said Reice.

It's doubtful President Trump reads many, if any, tweets sent to him.

We'll see if that's enough to appease both sides.

Both lawyers agreed to consider her suggestion. (The White House has confirmed that the president's tweets are indeed official statements). The judge will issue a ruling if both parties can not agree to the compromise. "It is not the case that the only person harmed by blocking is the blockee".

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