Trump not allowed to block people on Twitter, judge rules

Trump not allowed to block people on Twitter, judge rules
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US President Donald Trump cannot block users on his Twitter feed, a New York federal judge has ruled.

On Wednesday (local time) Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald said Mr Trump is violating the constitution by preventing Americans from seeing his tweets.

Last July the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University in New York, joined by seven individual Twitter users, claimed Mr Trump blocked a number of accounts whose owners replied to his tweets with comments that criticised, mocked or disagreed with him.

The plaintiffs were blocked from viewing, or responding to, Mr Trump's posts. According to their lawsuit, because Mr Trump frequently turns to Twitter to make policy statements, his account qualifies as a public forum from which the government cannot exclude people on the basis of their views.

Judge Buchwald agrees, saying the platform is a "designated public forum" from which Mr Trump can't exclude individuals.

Mr Trump has more than 52.2 million Twitter followers and has tweeted more than 37,600 times since 2009.