Establishing Twitter as presidential free speech forum may produce ugly results

A law professor warns about the side effects of applying the First Amendment to Twitter, arguing that bringing free speech there could restrict the social media platforms in their battle against fake news, harassment and hate speech. If courts continue to rule for free speech on these platforms, the social media will have to comply with established First Amendment law that allows lies, bigotry and racism.  (The New York Times, June 5, 2018, by Noah Feldman)

A district federal judge ruled last month that President Donald Trump could not block users from his Twitter account for criticizing him. The decision takes the legal restraints on the government censorship at public events and extends that prohibition into the social media. The judge agreed with the argument that since Trump’s twitter account was a government forum, he could not censor expression he found disagreeable. (The National Law Journal, May 23, 2018, by Colby Hamilton)

In the meantime, Trump has unblocked some users but not others. The veterans’ organization Vote Vets reports they are still blocked. One blocked user thinks it’s no big deal in that anyone blocked can just create a new account. (CNN, June 5, 2018, by Hadas Gold)

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