President Donald Trump will no longer be able to block people on Twitter due to a new federal ruling.
Last year, author Stephen King was blocked by Trump on the social media platform for posting a tweet that read: “Trump’s cabinet offers a postgraduate-level course in ass-kissing.”
King was just one of many users to be silenced by the president with a click of a button.
Now, a federal judge in Manhattan has ruled that Trump blocking individuals is unconstitutional and a violation of the First Amendment. Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald said that it would go against free speech to block access to Trump’s profile, as it should be a “designated public forum”.
The case was brought by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, on behalf of users who had been blocked by Trump for being critical towards him online.
Speaking of the decision, Reice Buchwald says: “This case requires us to consider whether a public official may, consistent with the First Amendment, ‘block’ a person from his Twitter account in response to the political views that person has expressed, and whether the analysis differs because that public official is the President of the United States.
“The answer to both questions is no.”
Earlier this year, Twitter explained why they wouldn’t ban Trump from the site – despite his often controversial and damaging outbursts.
“Blocking a world leader from Twitter or removing their controversial Tweets, would hide important information people should be able to see and debate,” they said. “It would also not silence that leader, but it would certainly hamper necessary discussion around their words and actions.”