• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.

Trump Can’t Block Critics From His Twitter Account, Appeals Court Rules (wider implications are possible)

DunDunDunpachi

Patient MembeR
Apr 18, 2018
12,249
21,924
1,185
USA
dunpachi.com
Source at New York Times.

President Trump has been violating the Constitution by blocking people from following his Twitter account because they criticized or mocked him, a federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday. The ruling could have broader implications for how the First Amendment applies to the social-media era.
Because Mr. Trump uses Twitter to conduct government business, he cannot exclude some Americans from reading his posts — and engaging in conversations in the replies to them — because he does not like their views, a three-judge panel on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled unanimously.
Writing for the panel, Judge Barrington D. Parker noted that the conduct of the government and its officials are subject today to a “wide-open, robust debate” that “generates a level of passion and intensity the likes of which have rarely been seen.”
The First Amendment prohibits an official who uses a social media account for government purposes from excluding people from an “otherwise open online dialogue” because they say things the official disagrees with, he wrote.
“This debate, as uncomfortable and as unpleasant as it frequently may be, is nonetheless a good thing,” Judge Parker wrote. “In resolving this appeal, we remind the litigants and the public that if the First Amendment means anything, it means that the best response to disfavored speech on matters of public concern is more speech, not less.”

---

So, Trump cannot block Twitter users on Twitter because he is excluding people "from an otherwise open online dialogue". Trump's lawyers will probably appeal to a higher court, but if this is not overturned, it sets a huge precedent.

Twitter (and other social media platforms) have banned a number of users for their political opinions. If the court determines that public figures shouldn't block people because it prevents them from engaging with an online dialogue, it stands to reason that others who are blocked for their political viewpoints could leverage the court rulings that they were treated unconstitutionally as well.

Thoughts on the court's ruling? Thoughts on implications for social media at large?
 

KINGMOKU

Member
May 16, 2005
6,052
1,745
1,490
Source at New York Times.

President Trump has been violating the Constitution by blocking people from following his Twitter account because they criticized or mocked him, a federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday. The ruling could have broader implications for how the First Amendment applies to the social-media era.
Because Mr. Trump uses Twitter to conduct government business, he cannot exclude some Americans from reading his posts — and engaging in conversations in the replies to them — because he does not like their views, a three-judge panel on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled unanimously.
Writing for the panel, Judge Barrington D. Parker noted that the conduct of the government and its officials are subject today to a “wide-open, robust debate” that “generates a level of passion and intensity the likes of which have rarely been seen.”
The First Amendment prohibits an official who uses a social media account for government purposes from excluding people from an “otherwise open online dialogue” because they say things the official disagrees with, he wrote.
“This debate, as uncomfortable and as unpleasant as it frequently may be, is nonetheless a good thing,” Judge Parker wrote. “In resolving this appeal, we remind the litigants and the public that if the First Amendment means anything, it means that the best response to disfavored speech on matters of public concern is more speech, not less.”

---

So, Trump cannot block Twitter users on Twitter because he is excluding people "from an otherwise open online dialogue". Trump's lawyers will probably appeal to a higher court, but if this is not overturned, it sets a huge precedent.

Twitter (and other social media platforms) have banned a number of users for their political opinions. If the court determines that public figures shouldn't block people because it prevents them from engaging with an online dialogue, it stands to reason that others who are blocked for their political viewpoints could leverage the court rulings that they were treated unconstitutionally as well.

Thoughts on the court's ruling? Thoughts on implications for social media at large?
This is going to get very sticky, and will probably be struck down as it's getting into 1st ammendment territory. I'm not sure I want a judge deciding what anyone can, or cannot do with their social media accounts.

President or not, he still is allowed his personal space, yes? Unless your arguing that the twitter account is of the Office of the president, not Donald Trumps Twitter account, then there may be a case to be made.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DunDunDunpachi

cryptoadam

... and he cannot lie
Feb 21, 2018
5,671
5,769
880
This is going to get very sticky, and will probably be struck down as it's getting into 1st ammendment territory. I'm not sure I want a judge deciding what anyone can, or cannot do with their social media accounts.

President or not, he still is allowed his personal space, yes? Unless your arguing that the twitter account is of the Office of the president, not Donald Trumps Twitter account, then there may be a case to be made.
I think that is what the argument is. Since he conducts government business on his twitter it falls under 1st amendment rights.

I think this will backfire on twitter eventually but I do agree with the ruling. I don' think Trump should be able to block people from emailing him or going on a government website.

He could create a private and public twitter if he wishes, and one would not have anything to do with the government.

Now if he can prove he doesn't conduct gov business then over turn the ruling. Also lets hope that twitter applies this fairly across the board. But we know Twitter probably won't be fair and find ways to make sure Dems/Leftist are exempt from this ruling.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DunDunDunpachi

DunDunDunpachi

Patient MembeR
Apr 18, 2018
12,249
21,924
1,185
USA
dunpachi.com
This is going to get very sticky, and will probably be struck down as it's getting into 1st ammendment territory. I'm not sure I want a judge deciding what anyone can, or cannot do with their social media accounts.

President or not, he still is allowed his personal space, yes? Unless your arguing that the twitter account is of the Office of the president, not Donald Trumps Twitter account, then there may be a case to be made.
Their grounds aren't based on Trump's specific position. For instance, they could've determined that under normal circumstances politicians and public figures should be able to block, but in Trump's case there must be an exception.

The court's findings could just as easily apply to any of the numerous Twitter bans over the past few years:

In resolving this appeal, we remind the litigants and the public that if the First Amendment means anything, it means that the best response to disfavored speech on matters of public concern is more speech, not less.

That sure doesn't sound like a private platform, which has been the go-to excuse for several years now.
 
Last edited:

Cucked SoyBoy

Member
Dec 18, 2018
374
513
280
People have the right to yell insults at the President, but he also has the right to walk away, have the yellers escorted out of the building, or even put headphones on and chant "la-la-la I can't hear you" while they yell at him.

This ruling seems to be saying that if someone wants to yell insults at Trump, he can't leave the room - he has to stand there and take the abuse no matter what.

This is just a stupid ruling by a biased black judge, who thinks it's funny to force Trump to read Tweets saying "EAT SHIT NAZI COCKSUCKER!" all day long. Or I guess he has to just cancel his Twitter account, which would suit Democrats just fine.


I also wonder if someone like AOC has to unblock everyone...HMMM there's a question!
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: DunDunDunpachi

KINGMOKU

Member
May 16, 2005
6,052
1,745
1,490
Their grounds aren't based on Trump's specific position. For instance, they could've determined that under normal circumstances politicians and public figures should be able to block, but in Trump's case there must be an exception.

The court's findings could just as easily apply to any of the numerous Twitter bans over the past few years:

In resolving this appeal, we remind the litigants and the public that if the First Amendment means anything, it means that the best response to disfavored speech on matters of public concern is more speech, not less.

That sure doesn't sound like a private platform, which has been the go-to excuse for several years now.
Which is my point in saying this will be obviously overturned as Trump blocking people is his form of freedom of speech, on his personal twitter account.

This standing would mean the government, in trying to protect speech, would also at the same time, be forcing speech.

It's an untenable position, so the law must acquiesce to Trump.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DunDunDunpachi

Cucked SoyBoy

Member
Dec 18, 2018
374
513
280
Since he conducts government business on his twitter it falls under 1st amendment rights.

I think this will backfire on twitter eventually but I do agree with the ruling. I don' think Trump should be able to block people from emailing him or going on a government website.

That's utterly ridiculous. The FBI "conducts government business" over email, so is the FBI director Constitutionally obliged to give me his email address so I can message him and tell him what an asshole he is, 20 times a day? What if I get 50 friends to all email the FBI director 50 times a day with insults?
 

DunDunDunpachi

Patient MembeR
Apr 18, 2018
12,249
21,924
1,185
USA
dunpachi.com
Which is my point in saying this will be obviously overturned as Trump blocking people is his form of freedom of speech, on his personal twitter account.

This standing would mean the government, in trying to protect speech, would also at the same time, be forcing speech.

It's an untenable position, so the law must acquiesce to Trump.
I don't think that's quite right. The appeal court is saying that Trump can't shut people out of the "online conversation" nor block people from reaching out to him, which is why the 1st Amendment was invoked.

If this holds, it calls into question the last several years of "private platform!" amidst all the politically-fueled bans on social media.

I am actually still on the side of the "private platform" argument in principle, but the social media companies have abused that privilege. This could lead to an overturn of Article 230 protections, and then watch out.
 

cryptoadam

... and he cannot lie
Feb 21, 2018
5,671
5,769
880
That's utterly ridiculous. The FBI "conducts government business" over email, so is the FBI director Constitutionally obliged to give me his email address so I can message him and tell him what an asshole he is, 20 times a day? What if I get 50 friends to all email the FBI director 50 times a day with insults?
Yes, according to the court.

Dont you think as a citizen you should be able to freely communicate with the president if he provides a platform for doing so?

Again going by what the court says here, and as long as its applied across the board than I agree. If I replied to AOC's twitter about concentration camps then she shouldn't be able to block me (if I was American) and prevent my voice to be heard in the discussion.

I am not 100% for this ruling but I understand where they are coming from, but if its appealed and overturned I won't lose any sleep. My only issue is that this isn't a rules for thee and not for me situation.
 

Cybrwzrd

Anime waifu panty shots are basically the same thing as paintings of the french baroque masters, if you think about it.
Sep 29, 2014
4,271
4,679
785
I personally think that blocking shouldn’t be a thing at all on social media. It makes it far too easy to create echo chambers. If someone is harassing you, get a restraining order or get them kicked off the platform.
 

Cucked SoyBoy

Member
Dec 18, 2018
374
513
280
Dont you think as a citizen you should be able to freely communicate with the president if he provides a platform for doing so?

Not if all I do is scream "RUSSIAN TRAITOR," "NAZI WAR CRIMINAL" or "CHILDREN IN CAGES" all day long.

On the other hand, I'll be OK with this if it applies to every single politician or government employee, so Democrats have to read endless streams of insults from conservatives all day. However, it sounds like this judge is making up a new law that only applies to Trump.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: cryptoadam

PkunkFury

Member
Jun 17, 2004
4,012
492
1,580
USA
Their grounds aren't based on Trump's specific position. For instance, they could've determined that under normal circumstances politicians and public figures should be able to block, but in Trump's case there must be an exception.

The court's findings could just as easily apply to any of the numerous Twitter bans over the past few years:

In resolving this appeal, we remind the litigants and the public that if the First Amendment means anything, it means that the best response to disfavored speech on matters of public concern is more speech, not less.

That sure doesn't sound like a private platform, which has been the go-to excuse for several years now.
lol, no

Did you even read what you posted in your OP?

Source at New York Times.

President Trump has been violating the Constitution by blocking people from following his Twitter account because they criticized or mocked him, a federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday. The ruling could have broader implications for how the First Amendment applies to the social-media era.
Because Mr. Trump uses Twitter to conduct government business, he cannot exclude some Americans from reading his posts — and engaging in conversations in the replies to them — because he does not like their views, a three-judge panel on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled unanimously.
Writing for the panel, Judge Barrington D. Parker noted that the conduct of the government and its officials are subject today to a “wide-open, robust debate” that “generates a level of passion and intensity the likes of which have rarely been seen.”
The First Amendment prohibits an official who uses a social media account for government purposes from excluding people from an “otherwise open online dialogue” because they say things the official disagrees with, he wrote.
“This debate, as uncomfortable and as unpleasant as it frequently may be, is nonetheless a good thing,” Judge Parker wrote. “In resolving this appeal, we remind the litigants and the public that if the First Amendment means anything, it means that the best response to disfavored speech on matters of public concern is more speech, not less.”
This is exclusively about government officials using social media to limit who they disseminate public information to. The decision narrowly effects public officials for obvious reasons (they work for everyone, they can't be allowed to fence off specific citizens when these citizens are their boss)

In case this needs to be made more obvious, here's the actual opinion: https://knightcolumbia.org/sites/default/files/content/Cases/Twitter/2019.07.09_Opinion.pdf

The salient issues in this case arise from the decision of the President to use a relatively new type of social media platform to conduct official business and to interact with the public.

We do not consider or decide whether an elected official violates the Constitution by excluding persons from a wholly private social 10 media account.

Nor do we consider or decide whether private social media companies are bound by the First Amendment when policing their platforms.


We do conclude, however, that the First Amendment does not permit a public official who utilizes a social media account for all manner of official purposes to exclude persons from an otherwise‐open online dialogue because they expressed views with which the official disagrees.
If this holds, it calls into question the last several years of "private platform!" amidst all the politically-fueled bans on social media.
if you are referring to stuff like Alex Jones, no, it doesn't. Alex Jones is not a public official conducting public business on Twitter

I am actually still on the side of the "private platform" argument in principle, but the social media companies have abused that privilege. This could lead to an overturn of Article 230 protections, and then watch out.
watch out for what? What exactly do you think would happen if Article 230 protections were overturned?
 
  • Like
Reactions: DeafTourette

KINGMOKU

Member
May 16, 2005
6,052
1,745
1,490
I don't think that's quite right. The appeal court is saying that Trump can't shut people out of the "online conversation" nor block people from reaching out to him, which is why the 1st Amendment was invoked.

If this holds, it calls into question the last several years of "private platform!" amidst all the politically-fueled bans on social media.

I am actually still on the side of the "private platform" argument in principle, but the social media companies have abused that privilege. This could lead to an overturn of Article 230 protections, and then watch out.
See now this, this is an interesting discussion! Not some inane discussion on "how white was my skin" but an honest to god constitutional discussion!

See I'm of the mind that the judge has impeded Trump freedom of speech by making him listen to others speech, forcibly! The judge is stating in no uncertain terms, that he has to allow others to join the conversation, and that he cannot "walk away from it willingly".

There is no way this stands up, unless they are saying that by becoming a government employee places limits on his personal freedoms. This is going to be a very, very interesting battle!
 

cryptoadam

... and he cannot lie
Feb 21, 2018
5,671
5,769
880
Not if all I do is scream "RUSSIAN TRAITOR," "NAZI WAR CRIMINAL" or "CHILDREN IN CAGES" all day long.

On the other hand, I'll be OK with this if it applies to every single politician or government employee, so Democrats have to read endless streams of insults from conservatives all day. However, it sounds like this judge is making up a new law that only applies to Trump.
Thats where I am with this ruling basically. If it applies to everyone then fine. If this is only a Trump thing because Orange Man Bad then I think its BS.
 

DunDunDunpachi

Patient MembeR
Apr 18, 2018
12,249
21,924
1,185
USA
dunpachi.com
lol, no

Did you even read what you posted in your OP?

This is exclusively about government officials using social media to limit who they disseminate public information to. The decision narrowly effects public officials for obvious reasons (they work for everyone, they can't be allowed to fence off specific citizens when these citizens are their boss)

In case this needs to be made more obvious, here's the actual opinion: https://knightcolumbia.org/sites/default/files/content/Cases/Twitter/2019.07.09_Opinion.pdf

if you are referring to stuff like Alex Jones, no, it doesn't. Alex Jones is not a public official conducting public business on Twitter

watch out for what? What exactly do you think would happen if Article 230 protections were overturned?
lol of course I read what I wrote. It's reasonable to think that a judge ruling Trump cannot block someone on Twitter's private platform would have ramifications for other political pundits and politicians on the platform.
 

danielberg

Member
Jun 20, 2018
2,329
2,650
375
Anti trump bias should not be influencing rules but it sure seems like does.. hope they realize this counts for everyone not just trump.
 

PkunkFury

Member
Jun 17, 2004
4,012
492
1,580
USA
lol of course I read what I wrote. It's reasonable to think that a judge ruling Trump cannot block someone on Twitter's private platform would have ramifications for other political pundits and politicians on the platform.
yes, it would have ramifications on politicians on the platform, assuming they serve in an official government capacity and are using social media as part of their official position. This, however, is not what you have been suggesting in this thread:

Twitter (and other social media platforms) have banned a number of users for their political opinions. If the court determines that public figures shouldn't block people because it prevents them from engaging with an online dialogue, it stands to reason that others who are blocked for their political viewpoints could leverage the court rulings that they were treated unconstitutionally as well.
Their grounds aren't based on Trump's specific position. For instance, they could've determined that under normal circumstances politicians and public figures should be able to block, but in Trump's case there must be an exception.
No, it wouldn't have ramifications for political pundits, they are not public officials using social media for official purposes

and once again, what exactly do you think would happen if Article 230 protections were overturned?
 

DunDunDunpachi

Patient MembeR
Apr 18, 2018
12,249
21,924
1,185
USA
dunpachi.com
yes, it would have ramifications on politicians on the platform, assuming they serve in an official government capacity and are using social media as part of their official position. This, however, is not what you have been suggesting in this thread:

No, it wouldn't have ramifications for political pundits, they are not public officials using social media for official purposes

and once again, what exactly do you think would happen if Article 230 protections were overturned?
How do you rationalize the judge's following statement?

In resolving this appeal, we remind the litigants and the public that if the First Amendment means anything, it means that the best response to disfavored speech on matters of public concern is more speech, not less.

This will be used as precedent.

If Article 230 protections were overturned, I image that Twitter would be sued if they didn't moderate users in a timely fashion. After all, if Trump (or others) are forbidden from blocking and are therefore exposed to abusive content, there is a much heavier onus on the platform holder to "keep their users safe" as it were.
 

PkunkFury

Member
Jun 17, 2004
4,012
492
1,580
USA
How do you rationalize the judge's following statement?

In resolving this appeal, we remind the litigants and the public that if the First Amendment means anything, it means that the best response to disfavored speech on matters of public concern is more speech, not less.
I don't, because it has no legal implications.
I rationalize in respect with what was actually considered in the opinion:

We do not consider or decide whether an elected official 9 violates the Constitution by excluding persons from a wholly private social 10 media account. Nor do we consider or decide whether private social media 11 companies are bound by the First Amendment when policing their platforms. 12 We do conclude, however, that the First Amendment does not permit a public 13 official who utilizes a social media account for all manner of official purposes to 14 exclude persons from an otherwise‐open online dialogue because they expressed views with which the official disagrees.1 15
this decision is specifically about public officials using social media for public business
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: DeafTourette

dionysus

Yaldog
May 12, 2007
6,538
401
1,250
Texaa
I think there are two possible avenues for social media companies:

1. They keep their immunity and are considered a public forum, but they cannot regulate speech in any way on their platform except in the case of a court order.

2. They lose their immunity and are a private forum, but they can do whatever the hell they want with their private forum.

Any time the government grants a special privilege to a company, say for a public utility, they also require special responsibilities on that company. In the case of public utilities, rate increases are approved by the government for example. Social media companies are the only case I know of where a company was granted a special privilege, immunity from being held responsible for the content on their platform, and have no responsibilities imposed on them as a result of the privilege. Either remove the privilege or force them to be a true public forum.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DunDunDunpachi

DunDunDunpachi

Patient MembeR
Apr 18, 2018
12,249
21,924
1,185
USA
dunpachi.com
I don't, because it has no legal implications.
I rationalize in respect with what was actually considered in the opinion:

this decision is specifically about public officials using social media for public business
Sure. They aren't ruling on those additional criteria because that wasn't the lawsuit.

If I am [banned Twitter user], I now have precedent to argue that when Twitter bans me, they are preventing me from engaging with all public officials and from the otherwise-open online dialogue because I expressed views with which the platform disagrees.

Why is Trump prevented from blocking users from seeing his specific profile, but Twitter is allowed to ban users from using the platform entirely? This is where Article 230 comes in, because they are allowed to moderate their own platform. I imagine if Trump's appeal fails at the supreme court, it imposes the definition of "otherwise-open online dialogue" on to these private platforms. Heck, if I was Twitter or Google I'd probably be getting ready to fight the fallout in court in case Trump loses again.
 

PkunkFury

Member
Jun 17, 2004
4,012
492
1,580
USA
If Article 230 protections were overturned, I image that Twitter would be sued if they didn't moderate users in a timely fashion. After all, if Trump (or others) are forbidden from blocking and are therefore exposed to abusive content, there is a much heavier onus on the platform holder to "keep their users safe" as it were.
and this is what confuses me, isn't the whole uproar over Twitter because people think they are over-moderating??? Is removing Section 230 something you want?

Ever posted on a forum where every post submitted has to be approved by moderation before it goes live? If it weren't for Section 230, every forum would operate as such. Including this one.

The internet would slow to a crawl. Twitter wouldn't exist, as there's no way they could manage

Alex Jones being banned wouldn't be a thing, because he never would've been able to conduct himself the way he has on any platform aside from one that he runs. Nobody would see his content as worth the risk. Hell, Trump's tweets would be regularly and consistently censored

removing Section 230 just means an exponential increase in censorship, as well as an increase in echo chambers, as each specific content host would more militantly shape dialogue. I dunno, maybe it wouldn't be such a terrible thing as internet clashes are concerned? but it would be absolutely different, incredibly slow, and I'm not sure it would benefit anyone specifically
 
Last edited:

dionysus

Yaldog
May 12, 2007
6,538
401
1,250
Texaa
and this is what confuses me, isn't the whole uproar over Twitter because people think they are over-moderating??? Is removing Section 230 something you want?

Ever posted on a forum where every post submitted has to be approved by moderation before it goes live? If it weren't for Section 230, every forum would operate as such. Including this one.

The internet would slow to a crawl. Twitter wouldn't exist, as there's no way they could manage

Alex Jones being banned wouldn't be a thing, because he never would've been able to conduct himself the way he has on any platform aside from one that he runs. Nobody would see his content as worth the risk. Hell, Trump's tweets would be regularly and consistently censored

removing Section 230 just means an exponential increase in censorship, as well as an increase in echo chambers, as content each specific content host would more militantly shape dialogue. I dunno, maybe it wouldn't be such a terrible thing as war as internet clashes are concerned? but it would be absolutely different, incredibly slow, and I'm not sure it would benefit anyone specifically
Why should we give immunity to the platform holder if they can still limit speech and also make massive profits? Read my previous post for more details.

Any other industry where the government has limited liability, they have also imposed additional responsibilities to make up for the lack of recourse.
 
Last edited:

DunDunDunpachi

Patient MembeR
Apr 18, 2018
12,249
21,924
1,185
USA
dunpachi.com
and this is what confuses me, isn't the whole uproar over Twitter because people think they are over-moderating??? Is removing Section 230 something you want?

Ever posted on a forum where every post submitted has to be approved by moderation before it goes live? If it weren't for Section 230, every forum would operate as such. Including this one.

The internet would slow to a crawl. Twitter wouldn't exist, as there's no way they could manage
I don't want 230 to be removed. It would definitely slow things down due to all the litigation.

Let me turn the question around: should an internet company be able to moderate itself without the government stepping in and imposing upon them? If so, this ruling should scare you since it is doing exactly that to Twitter. In spite of Trump not violating their terms of service (or at least not to the point that they have banned him), the court is imposing a rule on Trump that restricts him from using a normal feature of the platform.

I'll pose another question: should a company be able to hide behind 230 without any recourse for its users? Since class-action lawsuits are hamstrung in these cases, the users do not have a reasonable path forward if they believe it was done unfairly. Hence, the quips of "it's a private platform. Just make your own Twitter or PayPal or..." over the past few years.

Alex Jones being banned wouldn't be a thing, because he never would've been able to conduct himself the way he has on any platform aside from one that he runs. Nobody would see his content as worth the risk. Hell, Trump's tweets would be regularly and consistently censored

removing Section 230 just means an exponential increase in censorship, as well as an increase in echo chambers, as content each specific content host would more militantly shape dialogue. I dunno, maybe it wouldn't be such a terrible thing as war as internet clashes are concerned? but it would be absolutely different, incredibly slow, and I'm not sure it would benefit anyone specifically
Well let's not get ahead of ourselves, friend. Removing 230 would mean an exponential increase in lawsuits. Companies would not be prevented from hosting public forums. They'd just be more directly responsible for the content posted on said forums.
 

Super Mario

Member
Nov 12, 2016
1,026
1,076
415
1st amendment applies to the entire government, not just the president. Therefore, no politician that makes political statements (all of them) can block anyone. Right?
 

PkunkFury

Member
Jun 17, 2004
4,012
492
1,580
USA
Sure. They aren't ruling on those additional criteria because that wasn't the lawsuit.

If I am [banned Twitter user], I now have precedent to argue that when Twitter bans me, they are preventing me from engaging with all public officials and from the otherwise-open online dialogue because I expressed views with which the platform disagrees.
No, you don't have precedent to argue that when Twitter bans you they are preventing you from engaging with all public officials. Twitter is allowed to moderate their own platform.

Once again:
Nor do we consider or decide whether private social media 11 companies are bound by the First Amendment when policing their platforms. 12 We do conclude, however, that the First Amendment does not permit a public 13 official who utilizes a social media account for all manner of official purposes to 14 exclude persons from an otherwise‐open online dialogue because they expressed views with which the official disagrees.
There is no precedent for what you are describing here. This decision specifically relates to public officials use of social media. If you are not a public official, there is no precedent. I'm not saying that is 'right' or 'wrong', I am merely pointing out that the opinion as written specifically dictates no such precedent should be drawn from it

Why is Trump prevented from blocking users from seeing his specific profile, but Twitter is allowed to ban users from using the platform entirely? This is where Article 230 comes in, because they are allowed to moderate their own platform. I imagine if Trump's appeal fails at the supreme court, it imposes the definition of "otherwise-open online dialogue" on to these private platforms. Heck, if I was Twitter or Google I'd probably be getting ready to fight the fallout in court in case Trump loses again.
because Twitter owns and operates the platform, they are allowed to ban users from the platform in order to maintain a platform that best suits their needs and their customers needs. This is part of Section 230

Trump cannot block specific users because he is a public official and he is using his account for official business. This is in the opinion.

Basically, those running a private platform have the right to curate content as they see fit (on their platform). Those working for the public forfeit their rights to curate who can and can't interact with them on said platforms, however, said platform holders still have control over their platform and those who use it.

If Trump started openly posting on NeoGaf tomorrow, it wouldn't change the fact that the mods here have complete discretion over who is and isn't allowed to post. They could ban Trump. They could ban everyone who questions him

I understand what you are getting at, but the problems arise when your government elected officials decide to entrust private companies with their social media presence. To get around the problems you're illustrating, the obvious solution is that government officials shouldn't be relying on privately managed forums for such discussions, rather perhaps some US owned public Twitter competitor should be hosting their content. Either that or Twitter should be contracted to host government functions with some form of legally binding TOS for all participants. We don't currently have such an arrangement

To take this further, in theory Trump could ditch Twitter for some Republican owned and operated social media outlet. Trump himself couldn't ban/block people on that outlet, but the outlet could. I imagine this is a likely future for the major political parties. My guess is Trump's posts would have to be public readable (as they are on Twitter), but interaction would be gated by the platform hosts. I suspect this would open up new legal cases that do restrict Section 230 protections given that private entities may be entangled with said government (which is not the case with Twitter)
 
Last edited:

PkunkFury

Member
Jun 17, 2004
4,012
492
1,580
USA
I don't want 230 to be removed. It would definitely slow things down due to all the litigation.

Let me turn the question around: should an internet company be able to moderate itself without the government stepping in and imposing upon them? If so, this ruling should scare you since it is doing exactly that to Twitter. In spite of Trump not violating their terms of service (or at least not to the point that they have banned him), the court is imposing a rule on Trump that restricts him from using a normal feature of the platform.
yes, an internet company should be able to moderate itself without the government stepping in. This ruling does not scare me because it explicitly does not concern an internet company's right to do so.
Should a government official be allowed to moderate discussion on their own policies? No they shouldn't, and this policy reinforces that notion. Thus this ruling puts me at ease more than it scares me.

The court is imposing a rule on Trump that restricts him from selectively disseminating information and permitting discussions with only the constituents he favors. This has nothing to do with whether or not Trump is following Twitter's terms of service. This is more akin to Trump not being able to turn people away from his 4th of July event because they didn't vote for him.

I'll pose another question: should a company be able to hide behind 230 without any recourse for its users? Since class-action lawsuits are hamstrung in these cases, the users do not have a reasonable path forward if they believe it was done unfairly. Hence, the quips of "it's a private platform. Just make your own Twitter or PayPal or..." over the past few years.
yes, a company should be able to 'hide behind 230' without any recourse for its users. That's specifically what Section 230 permits. Nobody is entitled to the labors of said company.

Much like a restaurant is allowed to kick out a rowdy patron, or a credit card company is allowed to deny a bad spender. Much like a rewards program can deny abusive users, or a movie theater can boot someone for talking during the screening. The only exceptions here are those that run afoul of existing discrimination laws, which bare no relation to this court case, and require proof of systemic intent

Well let's not get ahead of ourselves, friend. Removing 230 would mean an exponential increase in lawsuits. Companies would not be prevented from hosting public forums. They'd just be more directly responsible for the content posted on said forums.
I'm not getting ahead of myself, this is precisely what the internet would look like if Section 230 were repealed.

Every single comment, every single review, every single ad, every single article would be vetted by some form of platform moderation, because the risk of letting the wrong comment through could sink a business.

Yes, we agree that companies could still technically host public forums, but they wouldn't because it'd open them up to crazy liability which could be easily abused. If your company isn't moderating comments, competitors would do their best to get libel or defamation anonymously posted onto your platform so you'd be mired in legal obligations. Just imagine how 'raids' would operate in a post Section 230 internet.
 

DunDunDunpachi

Patient MembeR
Apr 18, 2018
12,249
21,924
1,185
USA
dunpachi.com
No, you don't have precedent to argue that when Twitter bans you they are preventing you from engaging with all public officials. Twitter is allowed to moderate their own platform.

Once again:


There is no precedent for what you are describing here. This decision specifically relates to public officials use of social media. If you are not a public official, there is no precedent. I'm not saying that is 'right' or 'wrong', I am merely pointing out that the opinion as written specifically dictates no such precedent should be drawn from it



because Twitter owns and operates the platform, they are allowed to ban users from the platform in order to maintain a platform that best suits their needs and their customers needs. This is part of Section 230

Trump cannot block specific users because he is a public official and he is using his account for official business. This is in the opinion.

Basically, those running a private platform have the right to curate content as they see fit (on their platform). Those working for the public forfeit their rights to curate who can and can't interact with them on said platforms, however, said platform holders still have control over their platform and those who use it.

If Trump started openly posting on NeoGaf tomorrow, it wouldn't change the fact that the mods here have complete discretion over who is and isn't allowed to post. They could ban Trump. They could ban everyone who questions him

I understand what you are getting at, but the problems arise when your government elected officials decide to entrust private companies with their social media presence. To get around the problems you're illustrating, the obvious solution is that government officials shouldn't be relying on privately managed forums for such discussions, rather perhaps some US owned public Twitter competitor should be hosting their content. Either that or Twitter should be contracted to host government functions with some form of legally binding TOS for all participants. We don't currently have such an arrangement

To take this further, in theory Trump could ditch Twitter for some Republican owned and operated social media outlet. Trump himself couldn't ban/block people on that outlet, but the outlet could. I imagine this is a likely future for the major political parties. My guess is Trump's posts would have to be public readable (as they are on Twitter), but interaction would be gated by the platform hosts. I suspect this would open up new legal cases that do restrict Section 230 protections given that private entities may be entangled with said government (which is not the case with Twitter)
Individuals working for the public lose their right to curate content as they see fit in an "otherwise-open online dialogue". Yet, Twitter can still use 230 to justify blocking individuals from interacting with any public individuals? Yeah, there's gonna be lawsuits if this holds.

Twitter is being imposed upon here. Trump never violated Twitter's private-platform rules (or at least, they have not banned him for it, which is the pertinent fact). So, the government is infringing on Twitter's rights to manage its own platform by forcing one of its users to ignore a feature of said platform. There is no law or precedent (until this) requiring a public official to accept messages on a private platform or to force that public official to keep themselves visible on a private platform.

To use your NeoGAF example: if Trump decided to join here tomorrow and post, the mods could ban him if they wished. It is an entirely different matter if I sued Trump because he put me on Ignore, which is what the lawsuit is about. Setting aside the fact that GAF is not nearly as public as Twitter, do you think I should be able to sue GAFTrump if he blocks me on this forum?

Since there is no government-owned Twitter competitor, it's a moot point. Google, Twitter, and other social media outlets are the de facto "public forum". This is the basis of the House Judiciary Committee's investigation into possible antitrust violations among the handful of social media giants. With this ruling, the government is infringing upon these private platforms in yet another way by forcing users who are obedient to the platform's rules to ignore a feature because they hold public office.

I will call attention to the judge's own choice of words again: otherwise-open online dialogue. Not private Twitter dialogue. Not closed platform dialogue. Otherwise-open online dialogue. The judge used the broad-brush term, not me.

One major facet of these online platforms is the ability to self-regulate content. This is for the platform-holder's sake more than anything but it also facilitates freedom of speech. Instead of forcing the platform to step in with every dispute, users can filter and block as they see fit. This is good for the users -- since it mostly lets people say what they want and ignore the stuff they deem offensive -- and it is good for the corporation -- since they don't have to spend inordinate amounts of money on moderation.

Will Twitter now be required to set aside staff and resources to police the Twitter feeds of "public officials"? Since these officials' ability to self-regulate is removed, the burden is now fully on Twitter to make sure that the users interacting with that account are well within the guidelines.

yes, an internet company should be able to moderate itself without the government stepping in. This ruling does not scare me because it explicitly does not concern an internet company's right to do so.
Should a government official be allowed to moderate discussion on their own policies? No they shouldn't, and this policy reinforces that notion. Thus this ruling puts me at ease more than it scares me.

The court is imposing a rule on Trump that restricts him from selectively disseminating information and permitting discussions with only the constituents he favors. This has nothing to do with whether or not Trump is following Twitter's terms of service. This is more akin to Trump not being able to turn people away from his 4th of July event because they didn't vote for him.

yes, a company should be able to 'hide behind 230' without any recourse for its users. That's specifically what Section 230 permits. Nobody is entitled to the labors of said company.

Much like a restaurant is allowed to kick out a rowdy patron, or a credit card company is allowed to deny a bad spender. Much like a rewards program can deny abusive users, or a movie theater can boot someone for talking during the screening. The only exceptions here are those that run afoul of existing discrimination laws, which bare no relation to this court case, and require proof of systemic intent

I'm not getting ahead of myself, this is precisely what the internet would look like if Section 230 were repealed.

Every single comment, every single review, every single ad, every single article would be vetted by some form of platform moderation, because the risk of letting the wrong comment through could sink a business.

Yes, we agree that companies could still technically host public forums, but they wouldn't because it'd open them up to crazy liability which could be easily abused. If your company isn't moderating comments, competitors would do their best to get libel or defamation anonymously posted onto your platform so you'd be mired in legal obligations. Just imagine how 'raids' would operate in a post Section 230 internet.
Why do users need to use Twitter specifically to discuss Trump? Why do they need to interact with Trump's Twitter profile specifically? It's a private platform. There are plenty of other platforms where they can voice their opinions about Trump and engage in the conversation. Are you claiming that people have the right to interact with Trump on a private social-media platform? The judge in this case sure does, and I think that will have sweeping implications.
 

Derekloffin

Member
Jun 17, 2013
508
124
465
and this is what confuses me, isn't the whole uproar over Twitter because people think they are over-moderating??? Is removing Section 230 something you want?

Ever posted on a forum where every post submitted has to be approved by moderation before it goes live? If it weren't for Section 230, every forum would operate as such. Including this one.

The internet would slow to a crawl. Twitter wouldn't exist, as there's no way they could manage

Alex Jones being banned wouldn't be a thing, because he never would've been able to conduct himself the way he has on any platform aside from one that he runs. Nobody would see his content as worth the risk. Hell, Trump's tweets would be regularly and consistently censored

removing Section 230 just means an exponential increase in censorship, as well as an increase in echo chambers, as each specific content host would more militantly shape dialogue. I dunno, maybe it wouldn't be such a terrible thing as internet clashes are concerned? but it would be absolutely different, incredibly slow, and I'm not sure it would benefit anyone specifically
The options proposed are:
1. Comply with some extra controls on 230 in regards to eliminating biased enforcement of policy and such.
2. Lose 230 and continue moderating, but now be liable for everything on your platfrom.
3. Lose 230 and discontinue moderating ala a telephone provider and be immune to liability on the basis of being a common carrier.

The likes of facebook, twitter and such pretty much couldn't function under 2, so they either would have to comply with 1, or go the route of 3 which does indeed mean way less moderation.
 

DeepEnigma

Gold Member
Dec 3, 2013
22,296
20,065
1,045
If this were a woman, or any of their favorite political peeps, the headline would read “trolls” not “critics”.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Panda1

PkunkFury

Member
Jun 17, 2004
4,012
492
1,580
USA
Individuals working for the public lose their right to curate content as they see fit in an "otherwise-open online dialogue". Yet, Twitter can still use 230 to justify blocking individuals from interacting with any public individuals? Yeah, there's gonna be lawsuits if this holds.
Twitter is not blocking individuals from interacting with any public individuals beyond interacting with them on their own platform, where Twitter has complete jurisdiction.
I'm not saying their won't be lawsuits, but they won't be very fruitful without a major change in the law, and significant government overreach

Once again, the government has jurisdiction over how their personnel use Twitter; they don't have jurisdiction over how Twitter manages Twitter

Twitter is being imposed upon here. Trump never violated Twitter's private-platform rules (or at least, they have not banned him for it, which is the pertinent fact). So, the government is infringing on Twitter's rights to manage its own platform by forcing one of its users to ignore a feature of said platform. There is no law or precedent (until this) requiring a public official to accept messages on a private platform or to force that public official to keep themselves visible on a private platform.
You are deliberately misinterpreting the opinion. Trump is not being forced to keep himself visible on this private platform. He can leave the platform. He is being forced to allow equal access to his constituents when using the platform. This has nothing to do with Twitter. It's about public officials picking and choosing how accessible they are

And, again, since you really want to go in circles here, this has nothing to do with whether or not Trump is following Twitter's TOS. The government isn't forcing Twitter to do anything. Twitter can still ban people who are heckling Trump. The government is in no way infringing on Twitter's rights or telling Twitter what to do with this ruling. This is entirely about the government's own personnel

To use your NeoGAF example: if Trump decided to join here tomorrow and post, the mods could ban him if they wished. It is an entirely different matter if I sued Trump because he put me on Ignore, which is what the lawsuit is about. Setting aside the fact that GAF is not nearly as public as Twitter, do you think I should be able to sue GAFTrump if he blocks me on this forum?
yes, I do think you could sue Trump if he blocks you on this forum. This is precisely what the court decision suggests. As long as Trump is using his GAF account for official business and presenting it as an official government account and you are one of his constituents, he does not have the right to selectively block you. NeoGAF itself, however, does

Since there is no government-owned Twitter competitor, it's a moot point. Google, Twitter, and other social media outlets are the de facto "public forum". This is the basis of the House Judiciary Committee's investigation into possible antitrust violations among the handful of social media giants. With this ruling, the government is infringing upon these private platforms in yet another way by forcing users who are obedient to the platform's rules to ignore a feature because they hold public office.
Do you want the government to dictate what social media can and can't do, or no? I'm confused.

The government is not infringing on the platforms, they are dictating how government officials are allowed to use said platforms, which is entirely in their jurisdiction.

And no government-owned Twitter competitor existing is not a moot point, considering this one of the obvious ways to solve the issue. I'm simply pointing out that the way Trump and other government officials are using Twitter is sloppy. Either there should be a government run social media for official use, or the government should be contracting specific sub-domains on these platforms with legally binding rules (as when public events rent out private spaces). All I'm doing is pointing out that such protections don't exist, so we end up with the confusion we see currently

I will call attention to the judge's own choice of words again: otherwise-open online dialogue. Not private Twitter dialogue. Not closed platform dialogue. Otherwise-open online dialogue. The judge used the broad-brush term, not me.
As will I, except I may as well just link the whole opinions again:

The salient issues in this case arise from the decision of the President to use a relatively new type of social media platform to conduct official business and to interact with the public.

We do not consider or decide whether an elected official violates the Constitution by excluding persons from a wholly private social 10 media account.

Nor do we consider or decide whether private social media companies are bound by the First Amendment when policing their platforms.


We do conclude, however, that the First Amendment does not permit a public official who utilizes a social media account for all manner of official purposes to exclude persons from an otherwise‐open online dialogue because they expressed views with which the official disagrees.
The dispute in this case exclusively concerns the President’s use of this blocking function. The government has conceded that the account in question is not itself “independent of [Trump’s] presidency,” but contends that the act of blocking was private conduct that does not implicate the First Amendment.
Since his inauguration in January 2017, he has used the Account, according to the parties, “as a channel for communicating and interacting with the public about his administration.”
The public presentation of the Account and the webpage associated with it bear all the trappings of an official, state‐run account. The page is registered to Donald J. Trump “45th President of the United States of America, Washington 15 D.C.”. The header photographs of the Account show the President engaged in the performance of his official duties such as signing executive orders, delivering remarks at the White House, and meeting with the Pope, heads of state, and other foreign dignitaries.
The government’s response is that the President is not acting in his official capacity when he blocks users because that function is available to all users, not only to government officials. However, the fact that any Twitter user can block another account does not mean that the President somehow becomes a private person when he does so. Because the President, as we have seen, acts in an official capacity when he tweets, we conclude that he acts in the same capacity when he blocks those who disagree with him.
Of course, not every social media account operated by a public official is a government account. Whether First Amendment concerns are triggered when a public official uses his account in ways that differ from those presented on this appeal will in most instances be a fact‐specific inquiry.
Once it is established that the President is a government actor with respect to his use of the Account, viewpoint discrimination violates the First Amendment. Manhattan Community Access Corp. et al. v. Halleck et al., 587 U.S. (2019) (“When the government provides a forum for speech (known as a public forum), the government may be constrained by the First Amendment, meaning that the government ordinarily may not exclude speech or speakers from the 11 forum on the basis of viewpoint . . . .”);
why are you so intent on going in circles?

My point is that you are overreaching with your interpretation of what this opinion affects, and my point stands. You consistently pull this one sentence from the conclusion out in isolation as if it means something. Read the damned opinion, it's not that long. The entirety of the opinion is about limiting what public officials are allowed to do when using Social Media in an official capacity. It has no relevance to how private citizens use social media


One major facet of these online platforms is the ability to self-regulate content. This is for the platform-holder's sake more than anything but it also facilitates freedom of speech. Instead of forcing the platform to step in with every dispute, users can filter and block as they see fit. This is good for the users -- since it mostly lets people say what they want and ignore the stuff they deem offensive -- and it is good for the corporation -- since they don't have to spend inordinate amounts of money on moderation.
We agree about all of this, not sure why you are stating this. none of this is relevant to the court decision

Will Twitter now be required to set aside staff and resources to police the Twitter feeds of "public officials"? Since these officials' ability to self-regulate is removed, the burden is now fully on Twitter to make sure that the users interacting with that account are well within the guidelines.
I don't see how this changes anything from Twitter's perspective. The only people this effects are the public official attempting to block, and those who have been blocked. Twitter allows Trump to block for any reason Trump deems fit. As a personal user this is a sensible feature, but Trump is operating as a public official and should not be allowed to pick and chose who can see his content

Twitter can still police for TOS violations as they always have, and Trump can still report people for TOS violations for Twitter's consideration. I suppose people spamming Trumps PMs will no longer be able to be blocked, so you have a point there, but I imagine accounts being used for the purposes official publicity shouldn't expect to be using PMs anyway. Trump will have to weed through them or report abusers

TBH, this may prompt Twitter to roll out multiple blocking options, i.e. perhaps government officials would be allowed to control blocking PMs (as they aren't public by definition) but would not be able to block people from the public portions of their Twitter account. For all I know Twitter already offers this, I don't use it so I'm not sure

Why do users need to use Twitter specifically to discuss Trump? Why do they need to interact with Trump's Twitter profile specifically? It's a private platform. There are plenty of other platforms where they can voice their opinions about Trump and engage in the conversation. Are you claiming that people have the right to interact with Trump on a private social-media platform? The judge in this case sure does, and I think that will have sweeping implications.
Why do users need to interact with Trump on Twitter? Because that is where Trump is holding the discussion. Because Trump is their employee and he is using his Twitter account in an official capacity. It's that simple
Once again, read the report, it's entirely about how public officials should be using social media.
I am not claiming that people have the right to interact with Trump on a private social-media platform
Neither is the judge in this case
Both the judge and myself are claiming that public officials do not have the right do specifically deny constituents the ability to interact with them on an otherwise open platform when they are acting in an official capacity. It's an incredibly narrow ruling for incredibly specific context, and it is not the same as what you are suggesting
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: pennythots

dionysus

Yaldog
May 12, 2007
6,538
401
1,250
Texaa
What were his tweets that were official government business and not campaign or personal speech? Because a politician currently serving in office can exclude people from his campaign events at his discretion. It happens all the time.

A government official can throw a constituent out of his office, legislative chamber, etc. if they are rude and disruptive. Congress does it all the time. What makes social media exempt from this? Because by the same standard applied in this ruling if a citizen petitions the government, a right guaranteed by the Constitution, they should be able to do anything they want as long as they don't break any laws? So the citizens could just set up an appointment with a bureaucrat and scream profanities as long as they want and it is illegal to throw them out. Doesn't even have to go that far, what if the citizen just refuses to leave? According to this ruling he would have a right to stay and continue his petition indefinitely.

This does not seem to be a well thought out decision. I get what the judge is going for, but there is ample precedent that the government can proscribe limits on a citizen's right of petition and recourse under all kinds of circumstances.
 
Last edited:
  • Thoughtful
Reactions: DeepEnigma

PkunkFury

Member
Jun 17, 2004
4,012
492
1,580
USA
The options proposed are:
1. Comply with some extra controls on 230 in regards to eliminating biased enforcement of policy and such.
How? What extra controls? What is biased enforcement policy? This is essentially meaningless, and all I see when I read such a suggestion is 'establish massive government bureaucracy to babysit online comments'
I keep seeing this from people who are vaguely upset about 'something' with no real clue as to what they want solved or how to solve it. Resetera has people who give this same suggestion. I guarantee what you have in mind and what they have in mind concerning 'extra controls' are entirely opposite. How does one legislate this?

2. Lose 230 and continue moderating, but now be liable for everything on your platfrom.
And I've explained how this would completely break the internet as we know it, though I'm not fully coming out against the suggestion; who knows... maybe a slower more regimented internet would actually benefit society. We certainly wouldn't be in today's mess
But be aware that this also means extreme control of cultural dynamics by platform holders. It's essentially the media landscape of the 80s/90s. Each platform would be sucked up by the major conglomerates and we'd each chose our favorite masters

3. Lose 230 and discontinue moderating ala a telephone provider and be immune to liability on the basis of being a common carrier.
at which point companies can no longer moderate, and the entire internet quickly becomes 4-chan. sounds fantastic! See all of these accounts banned for spam? Neogaf is a common carrier and the spammer's right to pedal whatever they were selling is protected by the 1st amendment!
Let's let every special interest group roll out propaganda as they see fit. The loudest one, i.e. the one with the most bots, wins, because every voice is heard! Amazon reviews are forced to host ebay links so the reviewer can sell their cut-rate supply. Nintendo's personal forums are forced to host Sony troll fests and vice-versa. And really, getting into the specifics here isn't even worth it, because eventually everything becomes 4-chan, which means a large chunk of society gets off of the net and does things outside again. Maybe this is a good idea?

This common carrier fallacy is a terribly wrongheaded analogy. Your ISP is the common carrier, not the company your ISP is granting you access to. Facebook is the equivalent of Dominoes when you order a pizza. The common carrier allows you to access the environment Dominoes has prepared for you. We can't sue Dominoes for not selling us a burger, even though the 1st amendment protects our right to purchase burgers. If you want an environment that provides a burger, you call someone else that isn't Facebook.

The likes of facebook, twitter and such pretty much couldn't function under 2, so they either would have to comply with 1, or go the route of 3 which does indeed mean way less moderation.
All three of these are at best uselessly vague, or at worst obviously terrible
 
Last edited:

Petrae

Member
Nov 19, 2006
5,780
2,001
1,265
47
West Springfield, MA
www.youtube.com
As it should be. Any elected official holding public office should be subject to the same expectation, whether the official is a narcissist like Trump or a supersensitive radical like AOC. If you’re gonna take your politics and government business to social media, then you cannot choose to block out anyone whom you are serving as a part of the office.

You think someone is harassing you? File a complaint— just make sure that it holds water.

Maybe politicians will realize that social media isn’t the place for political debate, discourse, and infighting and keep that shit on the phone on in person like centuries’ worth of elected officials used to do.

Social media includes everyone— including dissenters and assholes. You engage on a public forum like that, then you should be restricted as a politician from blocking anyone without going through strict hoops to publicly explain why.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PkunkFury

PkunkFury

Member
Jun 17, 2004
4,012
492
1,580
USA
What were his tweets that were official government business and not campaign or personal speech? Because a politician currently serving in office can exclude people from his campaign events at his discretion. It happens all the time.
This is directly established within the court opinion:

The government’s contention that the President’s use of the Account during his presidency is private founders in the face of the uncontested evidence in the record of substantial and pervasive government involvement with, and control over, the Account. First, the Account is presented by the President and the White House staff as belonging to, and operated by, the President. The Account is registered to “Donald J. Trump, ‘45th President of the United States of America, Washington, D.C.’” App’x at 54. The President has described his use of the Account as “MODERN DAY PRESIDENTIAL.” Id. at 55. The White House social media director has described the Account as a channel through which “President Donald J. Trump . . . [c]ommunicat[es] directly with you, the American people!” Id. The @WhiteHouse account, an undoubtedly official Twitter account run by the government, “directs Twitter users to ‘Follow for the latest from @POTUS @realDonaldTrump and his Administration.” Further, the @POTUS account frequently republishes tweets from the Account. As discussed earlier, according to the National Archives and Records Administration, the President’s tweets from the Account “are official records that must be preserved under the Presidential Records Act.” Id. at 57.

Second, since becoming President he has used the Account on almost a daily basis “as a channel for communicating and interacting with the public about his administration.” Id. at 54. The President utilizes White House staff to post tweets and to maintain the Account. He uses the Account to announce “matters related to official government business,” including high‐level White House and cabinet‐level staff changes as well as changes to major national policies. Id. at 56. He uses the Account to engage with foreign leaders and to announce foreign policy decisions and initiatives. Finally, he uses the “like,” “retweet,” “reply,” and other functions of the Account to understand and to evaluate the public’s reaction to what he says and does. In sum, since he took office, the President has consistently used the Account as an important tool of governance and executive outreach. For these reasons, we conclude that the factors pointing to the public, non‐private nature of the Account and its interactive features are overwhelming
I cleaned up the quote as best I could but it's best to check the actual source. This topic particularly begins around page 17

A government official can throw a constituent out of his office, legislative chamber, etc. if they are rude and disruptive. Congress does it all the time. What makes social media exempt from this? Because by the same standard applied in this ruling if a citizen petitions the government, a right guaranteed by the Constitution, they should be able to do anything they want as long as they don't break any laws? So the citizens could just set up an appointment with a bureaucrat and scream profanities as long as they want and it is illegal to throw them out. Doesn't even have to go that far, what if the citizen just refuses to leave? According to this ruling he would have a right to stay and continue his petition indefinitely.
This seems to depend on whether or not the account's activity constitutes a forum, also established in the Opinions on page 22:

To determine whether a public forum has been created, courts look “to the policy and practice of the government” as well as “the nature of the property and its compatibility with expressive activity to discern the government’s intent.” Cornelius, 473 U.S. at 802. Opening an instrumentality of communication “for indiscriminate use by the general public” creates a public forum. Perry Educ. Ass’n v. Perry Local Educators’ Ass’n, 460 U.S. 37, 47 (1983). The Account was intentionally opened for public discussion when the President, upon assuming office, repeatedly used the Account as an official vehicle for governance and made its interactive features accessible to the public without limitation. We hold that this conduct created a public forum. If the Account is a forum—public or otherwise—viewpoint discrimination is not permitted.
This does not seem to be a well thought out decision. I get what the judge is going for, but there is ample precedent that the government can proscribe limits on a citizen's right of petition and recourse under all kinds of circumstances.
It's both well thought out and well sourced. By using Twitter, Trump is opening up a dialogue with the public at large. He can't go on to restrict admission to that dialogue to select members of the public on the basis that they don't agree with him. He can, however, stop opening dialogues with the public at large.
 
Oct 26, 2018
3,639
2,842
440
Trump blocks other people? LOL

Trumpy. You dish it out everyday. You got to be able to take a jab too.
 

Arkage

Gold Member
Sep 25, 2012
2,594
1,389
815
Maybe they should make two twitters. One where every user is publicly tied to a real identity, and nobody can block anyone else, but everyone now becomes accountable for what they say. It only follows US law as far as speech regulation. It becomes a public forum.

The make another twitter that is not tied to personal identities, but people can ban whoever they like, and it can be moderated by the company.

Of course, the real difficulty is that twitter is beholden to ad revenue, and companies don't want their products advertised next to certain types of speech. If you want a true free speech platform it can't be behold to the internet ad game.
 

dionysus

Yaldog
May 12, 2007
6,538
401
1,250
Texaa
It's both well thought out and well sourced. By using Twitter, Trump is opening up a dialogue with the public at large. He can't go on to restrict admission to that dialogue to select members of the public on the basis that they don't agree with him. He can, however, stop opening dialogues with the public at large.
No it is not, it takes the broadest interpretation possible of existing law without considering any of the implications of the ruling simply to gotcha Trump.

I'll start with what I see as the biggest weakness. By the rubric laid out in the decision, based on a precedent that predates the internet, literally every government website with a "contact us" page would be a public forum. Because the websites are "official vehicle for governance and" "its interactive features accessible to the public without limitation. We hold that this conduct created a public forum." The EPA website is an official vehicle for governance and is accessible with no limitation, and here is there contact page. https://www.epa.gov/home/forms/contact-epa
So the EPA has no right to moderate any of those avenues of communication?

Over and over again, mostly Democrat appointee judges, apply a standard to Trump's activities that are different than the standard they apply to non-Trump entities.

    • The travel ban was overturned not because the executive order was beyond the power of the presidency or discriminatory on its face or implementation, but because some of Trump's statements during the campaign were argued to be discriminatory. Campaign statements are now a reason to invalidate government power?
    • The census citizenship question was rejected not because the adequacy of the reasoning, but because the court didn't believe the timeline. Adding a new unprecedented element to judicial review that expands the power of the court to determine whether the executive branch's decision making process doesn't line up with what the Judge would have preferred, then it can reject the executive branch's power even if the executive branch complies with the law. Maybe the executive branch should say "I don't like the way you deliberated on that judgement, so I am going to ignore it. Now every law can be challenged based on the behind the scenes deliberations in either the executive or legislative branches? Can every law that Hank Johnson voted on be overturned because he is clearly not of his right mind and believes the island of Guam will tip over because of the weight of the military. Obviously not, but because it is Trump we will do it this time. Justice Thomas's opinion better sums up this judicial overreach.

Pretty much any case that's judgement says something to the effect of "normally we would defer to the executive branch, but in this case we have extenuating circumstances so we are going to create new power for ourselves." Normally the extenuating circumstances go back to the Judge's interpretation of Trump's motivation. The judiciary is now Trump's thought police.
 
Last edited:
  • Thoughtful
Reactions: DeepEnigma

Derekloffin

Member
Jun 17, 2013
508
124
465
How? What extra controls? What is biased enforcement policy? This is essentially meaningless, and all I see when I read such a suggestion is 'establish massive government bureaucracy to babysit online comments'
All that depends on proposal to proposal, so don't bother asking me as there is multiple answers. There is a law proposal already out there you can look at, and numerous others that at various levels of government. Nothing is past, but those are the proposals. Probably the biggest one says you have to pass a political non-bias test as conducted by a federal agency to keep your protection every so many years, but that's far from the only proposal. If you want to attack a proposal, I'd suggest getting the exact verbiage of the proposal your attacking and showing why it wouldn't work.

And I've explained how this would completely break the internet as we know it, though I'm not fully coming out against the suggestion; who knows... maybe a slower more regimented internet would actually benefit society. We certainly wouldn't be in today's mess
But be aware that this also means extreme control of cultural dynamics by platform holders. It's essentially the media landscape of the 80s/90s. Each platform would be sucked up by the major conglomerates and we'd each chose our favorite masters
That's actually the whole point, put the companies between a rock and a hard place. Either they show they are policing in an acceptable manner, or they lose the protection and really can't function in their current form.

Let's face it, 230 is an overly broad protection, giving these platforms far too much protection and they have been increasingly abusing it and doing nothing substantial to improve the situation, but rather make it worse. You have vague, even contradictory site policies that are easily abuse and enforced in inconsistent and opaque manners. So now we're getting closer and closer to the hammer coming down on them, and it isn't just in the states. The EU is attacking in the other direction, likewise saying they will be held responsible for vague and inconsistent ideas like 'hate speech' and they don't have 230 to protect them there.
 
Last edited:

DeafTourette

Member
Apr 23, 2018
1,534
1,046
445
deaftourette.com
People have the right to yell insults at the President, but he also has the right to walk away, have the yellers escorted out of the building, or even put headphones on and chant "la-la-la I can't hear you" while they yell at him.

This ruling seems to be saying that if someone wants to yell insults at Trump, he can't leave the room - he has to stand there and take the abuse no matter what.

This is just a stupid ruling by a biased black judge, who thinks it's funny to force Trump to read Tweets saying "EAT SHIT NAZI COCKSUCKER!" all day long. Or I guess he has to just cancel his Twitter account, which would suit Democrats just fine.


I also wonder if someone like AOC has to unblock everyone...HMMM there's a question!
What does his race have to do with anything? And wasn't he picked by the Trump Administration?
 

ssolitare

Manbaby: The Member
Jan 12, 2009
17,060
1,962
1,180
What does his race have to do with anything? And wasn't he picked by the Trump Administration?
It's no wonder why Republicans have a hard time getting poc on their side, they're too race pessimistic to let it happen.

This is certainly an interesting situation.
 
Last edited:
Oct 26, 2018
3,639
2,842
440
It's no wonder why Republicans have a hard time getting poc on their side, they're too race pessimistic to let it happen.

This is certainly an interesting situation.
Democrats are no different. The political side that is all about liberties and solving injustices and their initial field of presidential candidates is almost all white people. And only 6 of the 25 are women.


 

Panda1

Member
Jan 12, 2010
1,005
505
935
Democrats are no different. The political side that is all about liberties and solving injustices and their initial field of presidential candidates is almost all white people. And only 6 of the 25 are women.


White people? what are you talking about, race is a social construct!
 
  • Like
Reactions: jonnyp