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Donald Trump cannot block critical Twitter users, court rules

A group of Twitter users sued the president in July after the @realDonaldTrump account blocked them from replying to his messages.

WASHINGTON — A federal judge in New York ruledWednesday that President Trump may not block users from following his Twitter account because the social media platform is a “public forum” protected by the First Amendment.

A group of Twitter users sued the president in July after the @realDonaldTrump account blocked them from replying to his messages. The seven users had each tweeted a message critical of the president before they were blocked.

“Blocking of the individual plaintiffs as a result of the political views they have expressed is impermissible under the First Amendment,” Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald wrote in the decision.

“While we must recognize, and are sensitive to, the president’s personal First Amendment rights, he cannot exercise those rights in a way that infringes the corresponding First Amendment rights of those who have criticized him,” she wrote.

The White House did not immediately have a comment on the ruling.

Trump has more than 52 million followers on his @realDonaldTrump account, which has become the platform he uses most often to communicate to voters.

“The president’s practice of blocking critics on Twitter is pernicious and unconstitutional, and we hope this ruling will bring it to an end,” said Jameel Jaffer, executive director of the Knight First Amendment Institute, which filed the suit.

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