Monday, 10 December, 2018

Muting, not blocking followers on Twitter, might end suit, Judge tells Trump

A Federal Judge Recommends That Trump Mute Rather Than Block Followers To Avoid A Lawsuit Judge suggests Trump mute rather than block his Twitter critics
Ray Hunter | 09 March, 2018, 10:18

Their paths came together when President Donald Trump took the time to block them from his Twitter account because he didn't like what they were saying.

Baer also argued that the court can not order the president to unblock users, because of his position as head of another branch of government. U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald asked both parties on Thursday.

Baer specifically argued added that Trump's blocks don't prevent users from either reading Trump's tweets or discussing them in other users' threads.

Buchwald asked, "Why are we here?"

Nicholas Pappas, a comedy writer and one of the seven plaintiffs, told a gathering of reporters after the hearing that it would be "a great solution", if he were muted, rather than blocked, by the @realDonaldTrump account.

Columbia University's Knight First Amendment Institute sued the president in July of previous year on behalf of seven Twitter users that were blocked by the president.

Since the beginning of Trump's election campaign in 2015, fierce rebukes, policy decisions and taunts all get their first airing on his personal Twitter account, usually in the early morning hours. The government has moved to have the case dismissed.

More arrests in PNB fraud case
An LoU is a guarantee given by an issuing bank to Indian banks with branches overseas to grant short-term credits to applicants. The accused officials of PNB did not enter the instructions for these LoUs in their internal software to avoid scrutiny.

Michael Baer, a Justice Department lawyer defending Trump's control over his account, compared the blocking to a politician, during a political convention, being free to walk away from a protestor rather than being forced to listen to them.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, there is a lawsuit against him based on his Twitter behavior, but a Manhattan judge recommended a settlement, and suggested a new way Trump use the site.

Two of them, Rebecca Buckwalter and Philip Cohen, expressed skepticism regarding Buchwald's idea.

The suit was brought after First Amendment lawyers sent a letter to the White House social media and communications teams last summer, demanding that the president unblock the users. "I don't think we can decide this case on real-world analogies alone", he said.

Twitter lets users post short texts, called tweets, to which other users may respond. "So as long as they can read them, I would be completely fine with him never hearing anything I say". Buchwald said that if a government official were to turn off the microphone at such an event in order to suppress unfavorable perspectives, that would understandably raise First Amendment questions. Both sides, though, indicated initial enthusiasm for the suggestion that the president mute, not block, certain users. At one point, Baer offered his own analogy, saying that the president can choose to ignore protesters or even change locations at an event to make it more hard for the protester to reach him.

He said blocked users could still access the public replies and comments on Trump's tweets indirectly, through others who weren't blocked.

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