President Donald J. Trump cannot block Twitter users, according to a Tuesday federal court ruling.
“A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that President Trump is not allowed to block people on Twitter over statements he does not like, affirming a lower court’s decision that declared the president’s account a ‘public forum,’ Fox News said.
The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals made the ruling.
“We do conclude 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 court said.
The ruling is frustrating to some internet users on the political right, not because Trump cannot block users, but because of the court’s reasoning. The court recognizes that Twitter is a “public forum,” but the federal government and the judiciary branch have yet to extend that reasoning to private citizens banned from Big Tech platforms. If Twitter is a “public forum,” shouldn’t it be open to the entirety of the public?
Laura Loomer, the most banned woman on the internet, had her Twitter account permanently suspended in November after she criticized Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) for being “anti-Jewish.” Loomer is currently suing the Twitter and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) over the company’s decision to ban her account, which had over 260,000 followers.
She is also banned from Facebook, and Facebook-owned Instagram, also tools used by ordinary citizens as the modern-day public square for debate. Tuesday, Loomer announced a $3 billion lawsuit against Facebook.
This site reported:
On Tuesday, Larry Klayman, the founder of Freedom Watch and a former federal prosecutor announced the filing of a defamation lawsuit by conservative investigative journalist Laura Loomer against Facebook. The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida (Case No. 9:19-cv-80893), alleges that Facebook and its wholly owned sister company Instagram, in banning Ms. Loomer from the social media sites, maliciously defamed her by publishing that she is a “dangerous individual” and a domestic Jewish terrorist.
On May 2, 2019, Facebook banned Loomer from Facebook and Instagram. At the time of the ban, Loomer had nearly 100,000 followers on Facebook, and over 120,000 on Instagram, which is owned by Facebook.
The banning of Loomer, along with several other high profile conservatives sparked international outrage, as users wondered how Facebook could claim that Loomer and others were more “dangerous” than terrorist groups like ANTIFA and ISIS, which have accounts on Facebook and Instagram.
This characterization of Ms. Loomer, published widely, is alleged to have severely damaged her reputation, good will and financial well-being, as well as endangered her life and caused her to have to travel with security. As Facebook is reportedly worth over $63 billion the alleged compensatory and punitive damages are sought for at least over $3 billion U.S. dollars, which is 5% of its net worth — the standard calculation for punitive damages. The reason punitive damages are assessed by a jury is to punish the offender to dissuade further illegal conduct.
Loomer has been a strong advocate not just for conservative causes, but also to stem the growing anti-Semitism in Congress and threat of Islamic terrorism. In this regard, she was banned by Facebook and Instagram by simply revealing the truth. Facebook and its CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg is a self-hating leftist Jew sympathetic of Islamic extremism. Klayman sued Zuckerberg and Facebook years ago for allegedly furthering a Palestinian Intifada, which resulted in the death of Jews.
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Peter D’Abrosca is a freelance investigative reporter, author, and conservative political commentator.