Judge Urges Trump To Mute, Not Block, Twitter Critics


After all, it was a major news story when his account went down for 11 minutes.

Buchwald suggested the muting facet of Twitter could solve the whole problem because it would allow the seven to still follow and reply to Trump, while giving Trump a bit of control over who sees their posts.

A NY judge sought to avoid a testy tech-age free-speech showdown between Donald Trump and people blocked from his Twitter account Thursday, proposing the president just mute rather than block them. These seven were joined by Knight First Amendment Institute attorneys from Columbia University, who argued that both of Trump's Twitter feeds are official government entities and therefore, subject to public scrutiny and participation. They claimed the president blocked them because they criticised him.

"What we're seeking is having President Trump stop blocking our plaintiffs and stop blocking people because of viewpoint", she said.

Fallow told BuzzFeed News that her clients would be open to settling for a muting option if Trump unblocked them on Twitter.

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Trump has been active on Twitter for several years and has blocked dozens of prominent users as a result, including novelist Stephen King. He nearly never, if ever, has responded directly to a tweet.

A judge has advised US President Donald Trump to mute rather than block his Twitter critics after users of the service filed a lawsuit against him. And the defense has stressed the fact that everyone who is blocked by the president can still view his tweets by logging out of their accounts, and that they still have many other ways to petition the government.

This common sense solution was broadly welcomed by Knight Institute lawyer Katherine Fallow who said: "It's not a flawless solution, but certainly, it is a pretty good one".

One of the users, Philip Cohen, said Mr Trump blocked him after he responded to one of his tweets with a mocked up image that labelled the president a "corrupt incompetent authoritarian". "I don't think we can decide this case on real-world analogies alone", he said. "This is an official account and it is being used as a forum for speech". "Once it's a public forum, you can't shut somebody up because you don't like what they're saying", she said.

Buchwald presented muting as a possible compromise solution that could settle the suit without a ruling on the constitutionality of presidential Twitter blocking.