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

The masthead of US President Donald Trump's Twitter account as

The masthead of US President Donald Trump's Twitter account as

That's the very strong suggestion of U.S. District Court Naomi Reice Buchwald in NY, who is presiding over a lawsuit brought against Trump by when seven blocked Twitter users and Columbia University's Knight First Amendment Institute.

Cohen said that being blocked severely hurt his ability to say what he wants and for people to hear how he comments on the president's tweets. The Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University is suing Trump on behalf of seven people he has blocked, contending the president is not merely acting thin-skinned but also flouting the Constitution.

If Trump muted a user, he would not see that user's tweets, but the user could still see and respond to the president's tweets.

Katharine Fallow, an attorney for the plaintiffs, indicated that her side was amenable to Buchwald's suggestion that Trump mute rather than block, though she said it "not necessarily a flawless solution".

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. "I don't think we can decide this case on real-world analogies alone", he said. If he muted those people instead, they would still be able to see and interact with his tweets, but he would never have to see their accounts again.

"This way he does not affect the interaction of the other constituents", she said. "Once it's a public forum, you can't shut somebody up because you don't like what they're saying", she said. Buchwald is considering motions from both sides seeking judgment in their favor. ". He can avoid hearing them simply by muting them".

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The genre-defying " Get Out ", certainly the most timely of the films up for Best Picture, also scored four nominations. "Thanks, lowest rated President in HISTORY", he tweeted , matching Trump's unusual capitalization rules.

Blocked users are still capable of reading the president's tweets by logging out of their accounts, and could link to or screencap his tweets to criticize them.

Fallow also rejected the notion that the @realdonaldtrump account is "purely personal". They can't, however, directly reply to Trump.

After admonishing the attorneys to consider her mute-don't-block proposal, Buchwald said she will make a decision "in due course", though she said one likely won't come immediately.

Shortly after Election Day in 2016, President Trump started blocking people who were mean to him on Twitter at a rapid pace.

"We've said from the outset that muting would be a less restrictive alternative than blocking, so we were pleased the judge raised this possibility", Jaffer said.

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