Manhattan federal Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald reportedly told legal representatives for President Donald Trump on Thursday that he should consider muting Twitter followers who are critical or malicious.
The suggestion to employ the silencing feature was so Trump doesn’t block certain Twitter users, according to the Associated Press, a practice that has led to a lawsuit.
The Knight First Amendment Institute, part of Columbia University, filed a legal complaint in July accusing the president of denying users access to his account, which they argue is a public forum.
“The @realDonaldTrump account is a kind of digital town hall in which the president and his aides use the tweet function to communicate news and information to the public,” the lawsuit reads. “And members of the public use the reply function to respond to the president and his aides and exchange views with one another.”
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.
Trump’s digital diplomacy, and his decision to block users he apparently deems too disrespectful, may have some unintended consequences, according to Buchwald. (RELATED: How Trump Critics And Online Bloviators Can Make A Living By Tweeting)
She told the presiding lawyers that if a settlement is not ultimately made, she will be forced to rule on the matter and a new law may be needed, according to AP.
Trump’s Twitter conduct has triggered the ire of the public before. After originally not denying that it may ban Trump, Twitter eventually implied that he will never get suspended from the platform because he is naturally too newsworthy.
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