×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Donald Trump’s Blocking of Critics on Twitter Again Ruled Unconstitutional

Donald Trump is violating the U.S. Constitution when he blocks specific users on Twitter, a federal appeals court ruled, upholding a lower court’s decision.

The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Tuesday ruled that the First Amendment does not allow public officials who use social media in an official capacity to “exclude persons from an otherwise open online dialogue because they expressed views with which the official disagrees.”

President Trump — who famously uses Twitter as his social-media platform of choice — has blocked several celebs on the service, including novelist Stephen King, Rosie O’Donnell and Chrissy Teigen, as well as other individuals whose opinions he evidently doesn’t like.

“In resolving this appeal, we remind the litigants and the public that if the First Amendment means anything, it means that the best response to disfavored speech on matters of public concern is more speech, not less,” the 2nd Circuit said in its ruling.

The decision comes a little more than a year after a U.S. District Court judge ruled that Trump’s actions blocking individual accounts on Twitter are unconstitutional, rejecting the argument from Trump’s lawyers that the president’s own First Amendment rights would be abridged if he was disallowed from blocking users. The Department of Justice had appealed the ruling. The lawsuit against Trump was filed in 2017 by Columbia University’s Knight First Amendment Institute and seven individuals who said Trump blocked them on Twitter.

Meanwhile, Trump in recent weeks has railed against supposed political bias among tech companies, including Twitter. Twitter “should be sued because what’s happening with the bias,” Trump complained in an interview with Fox Business Network. Without providing any evidence, Trump has alleged Twitter makes it hard for people to follow him on the social network, where he currently has 61.8 million followers.

Separately, Twitter last month announced a new policy under which it will display a warning in front of tweets from political figures that violate its rules but which it keeps on the service under a “public interest” standard. The new notice will require users to click through to view the posts, and Twitter will limit the distribution of such tweets.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • The Simpsons

    Disney Plus Will Make 'The Simpsons' Available in Original Uncropped Format in Early 2020

    Eep! After an outcry from “The Simpsons” aficionados, Disney has decided to offer classic episodes of the iconic animated sitcom on Disney Plus in their original 4-by-3 aspect ratio early next year. The streaming service launched Nov. 12 in the U.S., Canada and the Netherlands with the full batch of “Simpsons” episodes in 16-by-9 HD [...]

  • Verizon Stream TV

    Stream TV Review: Verizon’s New Streaming Device Is One Odd Duck

    Verizon has an answer to Roku, but it’s not talking much about it: The mobile carrier quietly released a new streaming device this week that promises to bring services like HBO, Hulu and YouTube to your TV. Dubbed Stream TV, the device is a solid streamer based on Google’s Android TV platform, albeit with a [...]

  • Hulu With Live TV Full Channel

    Hulu Hiking Price of Live TV Service 22%, to $55 per Month

    Hulu is implementing its second price increase in less than a year for its Hulu With Live TV product — with the base package of 60-plus live channels increasing 22%, to $54.99 per month. The price hike on the monthly base price of Hulu With Live TV will go into effect Dec. 18 for all [...]

  • Hulu With Live TV

    Hulu Live TV Tops Sling TV as No. 1 Streaming Pay-TV Service, Analysts Estimate

    Hulu With Live TV has edged out Dish Network’s Sling TV to take the crown as the biggest virtual pay-television service in the U.S., according to new analyst estimates. They were among the only winners amid the cord-cutting carnage that slashed through the sector in the third quarter. As of the end of the third [...]

  • Mubi India

    Mubi Launches Two VoD Channels in India

    Film specialist streaming platform Mubi launched on Friday in India with two channels, Mubi India and Mubi World. The channels are available together for an introductory offer of INR 199 ($2.75) for three months. Thereafter the channels will cost INR 499 ($7) a month or INR 4788 ($66.75) annually. For Mubi India, a channel dedicated [...]

  • U.K. Producer Barcroft Studios Sold to

    U.K.-Based Producer Barcroft Studios Sold to Future in $30 Million Deal

    Barcroft Studios has been bought by Future in a £23.5 million ($30.1 million) deal. The U.K.-based production outfit specializes in factual fare for channels and platforms, and its own branded channels on the likes of YouTube. Future is a U.K.-listed print and online publishing and events business. Sam Barcroft will stay on as CEO at [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content