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posted by Fnord666 on Friday July 12 2019, @05:01AM   Printer-friendly
from the tweets-are-for-birds dept.

Submitted via IRC for Bytram

Trump's Twitter blocks violate First Amendment rights, appeals court affirms

It's one thing for most of us to block Twitter users who annoy us, but it's a violation of those users' First Amendment rights for the president to do so, a federal appeals court confirmed.

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Tuesday issued an opinion supporting an earlier federal court ruling that as long as Donald Trump is a public official, he cannot block people (which prevents them from reading his feed or responding to his comments) he disagrees with on Twitter.

The opinion (PDF) is narrow, specific, and unanimous, with all three judges concurring. "We do not consider or decide whether an elected official violates the Constitution by excluding persons from a wholly private social media account," the judges write, "Nor do we consider whether private social media companies are bound by the First Amendment when policing their platforms."

But, they continue, "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.... Once the President has chosen a platform and opened up its interactive space to millions of users and participants, he may not selectively exclude those whose views he disagrees with."

"The irony of all this," the opinion concludes, "is that we write at a time in the history of this nation when the conduct of our government and its officials is subject to wide-open, robust debate. This debate encompasses an extraordinarily broad range of ideas and viewpoints and generates a level of passion and intensity the likes of which have rarely been seen. This debate, as uncomfortable and unpleasant as it frequently may be, is nonetheless a good thing. 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."

[Update 20190713_080924 UTC: Part of what distinguishes this case from other politician's use of twitter is that on June 6, 2017 it was reported:

At the daily White House press briefing, press secretary Sean Spicer said the President's tweets are considered official White House statements, saying the President is the "most effective messenger on his agenda."

--martyb]


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  • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12 2019, @05:27AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12 2019, @05:27AM (#866119)

    There is a reason I never registered a tweet account, so that the molester in chief could not block me!
    But now I am free! Free, I tell you, to flaunt my Biggus Dickus across the internets? Who woo! Look at me! Biggest ever, bigger than the Donald! Huge Biggus Dickus! And what have the New York Real Estate Developers even done for us?

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12 2019, @05:35AM (49 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12 2019, @05:35AM (#866120)

    This seems extremely interesting from a legal perspective. Politicians are in no way obligated to indulge anybody at private venues. For instance there is absolutely 0 issue with removing a heckler, or somebody wearing an undesirable t-shirt, or whatever else from a politician's speech venue. So this means that the social media sites are being classified as something different than simple private spaces, even if the judges in this case overtly avoided ruling on this classification.

    This will open up the social media sites to wider first amendment litigation. And I do think this is reasonable. Sites with hundreds of millions, in some case billions of users, that primary content is free user generated material are indeed entities that probably need classification that is distinct from a private venue that sells physical products to a handful of customers at a time. Kicking somebody out of your restaurant has a very different implication than preventing them from being able to communicate with billions of other people and millions of other businesses.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12 2019, @05:49AM (10 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12 2019, @05:49AM (#866122)

      The judges probably considered that social media posts from public officials are public information, and must be made available to the entire public. If a blocked person logs out of their account, uses another device, or private browsing session, then they can still see the tweets as an anonymous user. That should be enough to satisfy the availability requirement for everyone.

      One pleasant side effect to this is that public officials will not be able to block users from posting about pedogate. It is just getting started. Those who screamed the loudest against Trump's victory know what is coming to them. Their protection is being methodically removed.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JNCF on Friday July 12 2019, @05:55AM (2 children)

        by JNCF (4317) on Friday July 12 2019, @05:55AM (#866124) Journal

        What is social media? Can a President host a blog and block IP addresses?

        • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Friday July 12 2019, @09:25PM (1 child)

          by DeathMonkey (1380) on Friday July 12 2019, @09:25PM (#866413) Journal

          The President of the United States is not allowed to censor people.

          This is not that complicated....

          • (Score: 2) by JNCF on Friday July 12 2019, @10:45PM

            by JNCF (4317) on Friday July 12 2019, @10:45PM (#866433) Journal

            Uhm, you're responding to a comment meant to provoke the realisation that the two questions presented are actually unrelated, undermining GGP's assertion that the court social media is relevant to anything in the decision. That being said, it actually does seem to be more complicated than the President not being able to censor, according to the decision of the court. It seems like the use of the communication channel for official purposes was considered relevant (among other factors); if the President happened to be running a My Little Pony fan site in his spare timr, censorship might be considered acceptable.

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Arik on Friday July 12 2019, @07:06AM (6 children)

        by Arik (4543) on Friday July 12 2019, @07:06AM (#866140) Journal
        "If a blocked person logs out of their account, uses another device, or private browsing session, then they can still see the tweets as an anonymous user. That should be enough to satisfy the availability requirement for everyone."

        The court explicitly rejected this argument. It's not enough that you can read only, that may indeed satisfy *your* individual right to access but it does not satisfy the right of all the other people that make up our democracy to hear your response.

        The whole point to the first amendment is to guarantee a free and open public discourse. Read only access does not permit you to join the discourse. It does not permit the rest of us to hear what you have to say in response. And we have a right to hear you.
        --
        If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by shortscreen on Friday July 12 2019, @08:28AM (5 children)

          by shortscreen (2252) on Friday July 12 2019, @08:28AM (#866164) Journal

          Twitter themselves (and every other service) can block people from commenting at will. How is Twitter's selective blocking different than a public official's selective blocking? Does Trump just need to post his own personal Terms of Service so that he can have some process to point at when he blocks someone?

          If Trump were to speak during a radio broadcast, do I now have a first amendment right to call in to the station and have my "response" also broadcast?

          If Twitter blocks me from commenting because I don't have TLS 1.2 or Javashit enabled, is that a violation of my rights?

          • (Score: 2) by Arik on Friday July 12 2019, @08:36AM

            by Arik (4543) on Friday July 12 2019, @08:36AM (#866166) Journal
            "How is Twitter's selective blocking different than a public official's selective blocking?"

            Exactly.

            Expect their lawyers to be contorting into unusually interesting shapes to answer just that question, in the coming months.

            "Does Trump just need to post his own personal Terms of Service so that he can have some process to point at when he blocks someone?"

            Nah he just can't do it.

            Seriously, go, you know, ick, I can't believe I'm saying this.

            Install a VM or an old box you can call a waste, and install all the insanity that gets you to twitter on it. Follow the verified account. Spew the nuttiest insults you can think of in response to each and every tweet.

            You won't get banned for that. You might get banned if you start adding other accounts etc. But you can heckle the POTUS 24/7 and you will not be banned for that.

            This is truly a glorious time, in some ways.
            --
            If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
          • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12 2019, @03:03PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12 2019, @03:03PM (#866250)

            "If Trump were to speak during a radio broadcast, do I now have a first amendment right to call in to the station and have my "response" also broadcast?"

            The FCC used to require broadcast stations to air opposing opinions, but not any more.

            remember

            "The opinions of the speaker may not be the views of the station or management. Parties with opposing views may be given time to air those views."

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12 2019, @08:27PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12 2019, @08:27PM (#866384)

              FTFY:

              If Trump were to post on a public bulletin board, do I now have a first amendment right to write my "response" and paper clip it to that post or bulletin board?"

          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by DeathMonkey on Friday July 12 2019, @06:27PM (1 child)

            by DeathMonkey (1380) on Friday July 12 2019, @06:27PM (#866344) Journal

            Twitter themselves (and every other service) can block people from commenting at will. How is Twitter's selective blocking different than a public official's selective blocking?

            How is a private entity's censorship different than government censorship? Really?

            Reason #1: The fucking CONSTITUTION!

            • (Score: 2) by shortscreen on Friday July 12 2019, @07:24PM

              by shortscreen (2252) on Friday July 12 2019, @07:24PM (#866362) Journal

              If you acknowledge that what Twitter does is censorship and the only difference here is who clicks the button, it still raises
              questions about the permissable conduct of government agents in various forums.

              What if I contribute some text to a Wiki article and then the change is reverted by someone on a government IP? Government censorship?

              Is an incumbent candidate's campaign FB page / mailing list / message board fair game? How about a physical bulletin board in the town hall? Can the cops ask youtube to take down a video of a shooting or whatever?

              Do we want to use a very broad definition of censorship or not?

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by jmorris on Friday July 12 2019, @06:09AM (33 children)

      by jmorris (4844) on Friday July 12 2019, @06:09AM (#866129)

      Their hate just might undo them. These judges were so Hellbent on "getting Trump" they opened a line of attack they might not be able to shut back down. They displayed their knowledge of guilt in their futile attempt to exclude twitter from the consequences of the decision but it is such an obvious inconsistency. One that twitter won't be able to avoid throwing into stark relief very soon. There is a guy suing AOC for doing the same thing. There is literally no way they can impose this stupid rule on President Trump and exclude a Congresswoman. But Jack will make his play, he will do the banning for her, banhammering anyone who annoys her while continuing to promote Trump's critics to the top of the list of replies. Unless a judge along the path up quickly sees the danger to The Resistance and puts a stop to this, Trump is going to "lose" this battle and win the war.

      We all know what a "free speech wing of the free speech movement" Twitter looks like, we remember what it looked like the day Mr. Trump came down the escalator. If the courts stop letting Big Social have all the benefits of both Platform and Publisher while avoiding the downsides of both, if they are declared Platforms, exactly like the phone company, etc. then the 2020 election is decided. Because we all know the rule, the Left only wins when they can control the terms of the debate.

      • (Score: 5, Interesting) by JNCF on Friday July 12 2019, @06:23AM (2 children)

        by JNCF (4317) on Friday July 12 2019, @06:23AM (#866131) Journal

        This has nothing to do with Twitter because it's about how the platform is used, not what the platform is. I'm not a fan of the ruling, the President, or the government in general, and I can't predict the AOC ruling, but I can read and understand that distinction. C'mon jmorris, try harder to troll harder.

        • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12 2019, @03:15PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12 2019, @03:15PM (#866260)

          What makes you think he's trolling?

          • (Score: 0, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12 2019, @04:12PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12 2019, @04:12PM (#866288)

            His lips were moving. His hands typed something. Really it's that he didn't bash Trump. Anything neutral or Trump supportive is troll. You must be new here. /s

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by c0lo on Friday July 12 2019, @06:24AM (29 children)

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Friday July 12 2019, @06:24AM (#866132) Journal

        What the fuck I just wasted my time reading?
        Sherley, there must be a shorter and more human comprehensible expression for the gloating above?

        stop letting Big Social have all the benefits of both Platform and Publisher while avoiding the downsides of both

        Did you just equate 'if the president chooses pornhub as a platform for communication, then the president can't block others from pornhub on the reason they express views contrary to those of the president' with 'twitter can't stop anyone behave on their platform contrary to their terms of use'?
        If so, on what basis?

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
        • (Score: -1, Troll) by jmorris on Friday July 12 2019, @06:31AM (19 children)

          by jmorris (4844) on Friday July 12 2019, @06:31AM (#866134)

          Clear your mind of hate, reread what I wrote and examine it as a cold logic problem. It will come to you.

          • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Friday July 12 2019, @06:44AM (17 children)

            by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Friday July 12 2019, @06:44AM (#866137) Journal

            As a non-American, I have no other feeling but puzzlement on the weirdness of the way American choose to do politics. No hate, no love.
            And it brings me no benefit to the try deciphering the meanders you take to make your point, assuming you have one to make. You either take my feedback of 'i didn't get it, lease rephrase' or I'm going to ignore your post as pointless.

            --
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
            • (Score: 2) by coolgopher on Friday July 12 2019, @07:26AM (5 children)

              by coolgopher (1157) on Friday July 12 2019, @07:26AM (#866146)

              No hate, no love.

              Plenty of "stay-the-fuck-away" though >.>

              • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Friday July 12 2019, @08:05AM (4 children)

                by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Friday July 12 2019, @08:05AM (#866157) Journal

                Because it just happens I don't like the American life-style. Can you blame me for it?

                --
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
                • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12 2019, @10:38AM (3 children)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12 2019, @10:38AM (#866184)

                  Even if it is the part of "American life-style" you dislike the most.

                  • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Friday July 12 2019, @11:09AM (2 children)

                    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Friday July 12 2019, @11:09AM (#866188) Journal

                    Your mistake (no, I don't dislike free speech, I dislike irresponsible speech).
                    Your problem if you blame me for it, it's inconsequential.

                    --
                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
                    • (Score: 3, Touché) by hemocyanin on Friday July 12 2019, @03:10PM (1 child)

                      by hemocyanin (186) on Friday July 12 2019, @03:10PM (#866257) Journal

                      I don't dislike free speech, I dislike irresponsible speech

                      That's a dodge, a way to justify censorship to oneself and still feel like an anti-authoritarian.

                      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Friday July 12 2019, @11:21PM

                        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Friday July 12 2019, @11:21PM (#866439) Journal

                        Lemme guess, you parents never taught you about things that, for example, are not nice to say, actually rude.
                        Or did you just forget their lessons?

                        Common-sense, mate. It has a meaning (and that meaning doesn't overlap with 'dodge').
                        If you drive the common-sense of your population out of whack with the rest of the world, don't be surprised if the rest of the world will not like you.

                        --
                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
            • (Score: 0, Redundant) by jmorris on Friday July 12 2019, @07:48AM (9 children)

              by jmorris (4844) on Friday July 12 2019, @07:48AM (#866153)

              Look below, Arik got it. There is no effective difference in WHO does the banning. If it is protected communication between citizen and elected official then the argument that Trump can't ban probably stands, but then Jack can't banhammer either because it is the same thing. Just because he chooses not to protect Trump from his critics doesn't save him if he is openly doing it for AOC. In fact it makes it even more indefensible. If the rule is you can't be banned from communicating with your elected officials, and they are deemed to be "on the clock" and conducting such official business that these rules need to be enforced, then it is a platform and Jack can't ban users who aren't breaking any laws.

              Imagine AT&T was still "The Phone Company" for a moment. The White House switchboard implemented a block list to keep the annoying jerks who call up every other day to complain. Courts smack them down. So they ask a big contributor, who happens to be CEO of AT&T, to just turn off the phones of the annoying people. Think that flies in a court? Anywhere in the West? Now explain what is different with Twitter other than the "On the Internet" reality distortion field. Are you seeing it yet? BOOM!

              • (Score: 5, Informative) by c0lo on Friday July 12 2019, @08:02AM (8 children)

                by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Friday July 12 2019, @08:02AM (#866156) Journal

                If it is protected communication between citizen and elected official then the argument that Trump can't ban probably stands, , but then Jack can't banhammer either because...

                I hope you realize that if Twitter wounlnd't be constrained by the strictly economic risk of losing customers, they could ban Trump at any moment from their platform.
                Is there any law to force a private business to carry the president's message? 'cause if there is, then there is no difference I can see between being a private company and a nationalized one. It happened quite a lot in USSR and the communist European countries, I know from direct experience.

                --
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
                • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Arik on Friday July 12 2019, @08:41AM (7 children)

                  by Arik (4543) on Friday July 12 2019, @08:41AM (#866168) Journal
                  No, I think you're quite right.

                  They're able to ban him and all elected officials, via ToS, overnight.

                  And they're more than welcome to do so. It would be the glorious day of their death, and a small liberation of the internet as a result.

                  Because he'd just move to a more friendly platform, and they would die.
                  --
                  If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
                  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by c0lo on Friday July 12 2019, @09:40AM (6 children)

                    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Friday July 12 2019, @09:40AM (#866174) Journal

                    So, if they can kick out the POTUS, it follows they can kick out anyone.
                    So, jmorris' assertion twitter has a legal special obligation to carry the speech of anyone only because it's between that one and POTUS is bullshit.

                    --
                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
                    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Arik on Friday July 12 2019, @09:53AM (3 children)

                      by Arik (4543) on Friday July 12 2019, @09:53AM (#866177) Journal
                      No.

                      "So, if they can kick out the POTUS, it follows they can kick out anyone."

                      No, no. Ok, yes, but no.

                      They can kick out POTUS. THEN they kick out anyone they want.

                      But until they kick out POTUS, then, logically, they are willingly hosting a public hall.

                      In which case they really can't kick out anyone, barring a judicial order to do so.
                      --
                      If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
                      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Friday July 12 2019, @11:46AM (2 children)

                        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Friday July 12 2019, @11:46AM (#866191) Journal

                        But until they kick out POTUS, then, logically, they are willingly hosting a public hall.

                        It doesn't necessary follow. See, they aren't promising they'll enforce their ToS every time for everyone, they reserve for themselves the right to do it at their discretion.
                        Like they reserve their right to kick-out a rowdy red-neck, but also have the discretion to not do it for certain prominent red-necks.
                        Otherwise, read their ToS and show me where they made the (bound by commercial law) offer/promise they will host an open hall. If you can't find such a promise, methinks no judge will ever hold them guilty for not doing so.

                        Excerpts from Twitter's ToS [twitter.com]

                        We reserve the right to remove Content that violates the User Agreement, including for example, copyright or trademark violations, impersonation, unlawful conduct, or harassment.
                        ...
                        We may suspend or terminate your account or cease providing you with all or part of the Services at any time for any or no reason, including, but not limited to, if we reasonably believe:...

                        Doesn't sound like as a "promise to host a public hall", does it?

                        --
                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
                        • (Score: 2) by Arik on Friday July 12 2019, @11:55AM (1 child)

                          by Arik (4543) on Friday July 12 2019, @11:55AM (#866194) Journal
                          No, you're right, their ToS, at least the parts you quoted, don't lean in that direction, in isolation.

                          But the court decision we were discussing introduce a very different element to the conversation.

                          Please try to keep up.
                          --
                          If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
                          • (Score: 3, Informative) by c0lo on Friday July 12 2019, @12:07PM

                            by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Friday July 12 2019, @12:07PM (#866200) Journal

                            But the court decision we were discussing introduce a very different element to the conversation.

                            Please try to keep up.

                            I think you are having a wet dream and you may be embarrassed of your uncontrollable excitement when you wake up.
                            Because, there, no further then TFS:

                            The opinion (PDF) is narrow, specific, and unanimous, with all three judges concurring. ... "Nor do we consider whether private social media companies are bound by the First Amendment when policing their platforms."

                            --
                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
                    • (Score: 1) by Arik on Friday July 12 2019, @10:17AM (1 child)

                      by Arik (4543) on Friday July 12 2019, @10:17AM (#866181) Journal
                      This is so beautiful. The sheer tar baby logic of it. I can't believe it will actually work out that way in the end, because nothing ever makes sense or is just in the end in this world. But that's some severe legal judo. That might even justify the fanboi chant about 4d chess.
                      --
                      If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
                      • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12 2019, @02:28PM

                        by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12 2019, @02:28PM (#866236)

                        Racist!

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12 2019, @09:07PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12 2019, @09:07PM (#866398)

              You either take my feedback of 'i didn't get it, lease rephrase' or I'm going to ignore your post as pointless.

              I think at least a few of us have chosen the path of "ignore jmoriss as pointless" a long time ago. And nothing of value has been lost; at least that is what I have found. YMMV.

          • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12 2019, @07:58AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12 2019, @07:58AM (#866155)

            jmorris just had sex with my pet ground squirrel. Neither of them enjoyed it, it was purely a political transaction. Jmorris is like that, sex with rodents, sex with Nazis, sex with Richard Spencer, not to mention Milo. So what was he saying, again? Nothing of consequence. He will come, but nothing to do with logic.

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Arik on Friday July 12 2019, @07:01AM (7 children)

          by Arik (4543) on Friday July 12 2019, @07:01AM (#866138) Journal
          Yeah, here's the thing.

          If Trump can't ban me from his twitter feed for my expressed political disagreement with him (which is what the ruling says) then why should Jack Dorsey be able to remove me from Trump's twitter feed (and every other feed) for my expressed political disagreement with him?

          So yes, the implication of this seems to be that if the POTUS chooses to use Pornhub for a public hall, and Pornhub allows him to do so, then this virtual hall becomes a place to which access is guaranteed by the first amendment, and neither the POTUS nor Pornhub can remove access without inviting a lawsuit.
          --
          If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
          • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Friday July 12 2019, @11:59AM (5 children)

            by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Friday July 12 2019, @11:59AM (#866195) Journal

            then why should Jack Dorsey be able to remove me from Trump's twitter feed (and every other feed) for my expressed political disagreement with him?

            Because both you and Trump entered in a contract with Twitter, on the conditions established by Twitter.
            Yes, signing in after you read the ToS is a contract, more precisely an adhesion contract [investopedia.com] (the "my way or the highway" type of contract).
            Guess what you agreed with [twitter.com]?

            We may suspend or terminate your account or cease providing you with all or part of the Services at any time for any or no reason

            --
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
            • (Score: 2) by Arik on Friday July 12 2019, @12:03PM (1 child)

              by Arik (4543) on Friday July 12 2019, @12:03PM (#866197) Journal
              I never agreed to it, I consistently and explicitly rejected it from day one. Never had any identity there whatsoever, never even aware of it aside from other folks posting screenshots.

              I would argue in all earnest that even had I engaged there, that could not reasonably be taken as any evidence of my acceptance of any ridiculous terms.

              But, again, even if all that holds up... it gains them nothing. All he has to do is leave. And take his followers with him.

              Why are you trying to defend these trash?
              --
              If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
              • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Friday July 12 2019, @12:16PM

                by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Friday July 12 2019, @12:16PM (#866204) Journal

                I never agreed to it, I consistently and explicitly rejected it from day one.

                If you don't use Twitter, it's fine. If you do use Twitter, then your disagreement with the ToS is irrelevant in the eyes of the law, you are still bound by their adhesion conditions.

                In any case, in my post the "you" should be understood in the context of your

                then why should Jack Dorsey be able to remove me from Trump's twitter feed (and every other feed) for my expressed political disagreement with him?

                I.e. an impersonal you [wikipedia.org] meaning.

                --
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by jmorris on Friday July 12 2019, @05:15PM (2 children)

              by jmorris (4844) on Friday July 12 2019, @05:15PM (#866320)

              Nobody is arguing whether their ToS says that. The courts are slowly working themselves into a position where they will be forced to settle the question of whether they can say that and remain regulated as a neutral Platform. The problem for Big Social is that if a court ever firmly places them into either the Platform -OR- Publishers legal categories their current business model is dead and they have no real desire to accept the changes that would be required to survive. They will have to be forced into it, at gunpoint. Yes I'm being brutally honest about that, government is force.

              This current legal skirmish isn't about the ToS, the corrupt judges in this ruling explicitly said they weren't imposing anything on Jack. By the ToS alone, Trump is perfectly entitled to use the block feature of twitter, just like any other. But the court ruled that while Mr. Trump is POTUS he can't make use of it. And I'm saying that is an unprincipled exception that will soon die under the weight of the contradictions it is going to create when they apply that rule to AOC and Jack simply banhammers anyone who annoys her, creating an effective violation of the principle the court is invoking to "get Trump."

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12 2019, @09:37PM (1 child)

                by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12 2019, @09:37PM (#866419)

                Yes I'm being brutally honest about that, government is force.

                I've noticed that you frequently have a rather macabre view of government. Is there no room in your political philosophy for consent of the governed?

                • (Score: 1, Troll) by jmorris on Saturday July 13 2019, @09:01AM

                  by jmorris (4844) on Saturday July 13 2019, @09:01AM (#866534)

                  If everyone is in agreement there isn't need for government involvement in that issue. It is when one group demands another group do something it doesn't want that government gets involved. At which point the more powerful group (not the most numerous) uses government to force the loser to obey. Or else. Because there has to be an "or else" or there would be no need to obey.

                  Government itself requires a rough consent of the governed to last long, but it can often manufacture that, especially with modern media and knowledge of propaganda techniques. And remember, the U.S. and England invented propaganda. Mr. H, he found himself on the opposing end of it in WWI and learned from the experience. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

          • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Friday July 12 2019, @09:22PM

            by DeathMonkey (1380) on Friday July 12 2019, @09:22PM (#866409) Journal

            Jack Dorsey it not President of the United States. The President is not allowed to censor citizens.

            The End

        • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12 2019, @07:25AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12 2019, @07:25AM (#866145)

          The DMCA and other laws make some liability distinctions for things like copyright.

          CNN, Bloomberg, and Disney are publishers. (for most purposes) They get to decide what they show, and they are liable for things like copyright violation and slander and child porn.

          Freenode, Verizon, and Akamai aren't generally considered publishers. (for most purposes) They don't make editorial decisions on the data passing over their networks, and they are not liable for whatever it may be.

          Social media giants want to have it both ways. They want to make decisions about what passes through their networks, but they don't want any liability. That isn't how the law works.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by bradley13 on Friday July 12 2019, @08:55AM (3 children)

      by bradley13 (3053) on Friday July 12 2019, @08:55AM (#866170) Homepage Journal

      While I'm not in the US, my understanding is that this is being celebrated by the Democrats and progressives. Only...Occasional Cortex also has a Twitter account, and she has apparently been blocking any conservatives who criticize her. Oops. [bloomberglaw.com] Looks like she's going to have to accept criticism too. Sauce for the goose, and all that...

      It's also interesting that social media is now being treated by US courts as the electronic equivalent of a public space (else these rules would not apply). If that's true, then essentially all filtering of legal content by Twitter, Facebook, Google, & co is censorship, and must be prohibited. If that is where this court case leads, life is going to get interesting...

      --
      Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday July 12 2019, @12:14PM (1 child)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday July 12 2019, @12:14PM (#866203) Journal
        "IF". Two problems. First, even the same court can bend like a pretzel to accommodate one interpretation of law while excluding another. It's already bent a considerable amount to create the present ruling. Second, the ruling can be easily overturned.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12 2019, @06:23PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12 2019, @06:23PM (#866340)

          I think this case has had a trajectory, from day 1, of headed to the supreme court. Because this ruling, assuming it is upheld by the SCOTUS, is going to radically reshape our notions of free speech and communication on the internet.

      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Friday July 12 2019, @12:38PM

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Friday July 12 2019, @12:38PM (#866210) Journal

        It's also interesting that social media is now being treated by US courts as the electronic equivalent of a public space (else these rules would not apply). If that's true,

        That many would want to be so, no surprise there. But it's not true for the present

        The opinion (PDF) is narrow, specific, and unanimous, with all three judges concurring... "Nor do we consider whether private social media companies are bound by the First Amendment when policing their platforms."

        Now, assuming it will be so, the social media will break into US and non-US market - because the push for all the other countries in the Western civilization is to restrict certain types of speech. Tough choice for social media, but also a tough choice for Americans - do they want to lose their voice on the world stage?

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12 2019, @09:56AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12 2019, @09:56AM (#866179)

    I began collecting Trumps tweets along with the date but it be a!e so time consuming it interfered with my work.

    I have three of them if anyone wants to see.

    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday July 12 2019, @02:31PM

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday July 12 2019, @02:31PM (#866238) Journal

      Haven't you any concern that the black hole of stupidity this could create might reach some kind of threshold of critical mass after a while?

      --
      When trying to solve a problem don't ask who suffers from the problem, ask who profits from the problem.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12 2019, @03:05PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12 2019, @03:05PM (#866254)
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 13 2019, @01:36AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 13 2019, @01:36AM (#866470)

        Are those actually deleted? Pretty sure I read alot of those recent ones and it isn't like I check his twitter every day.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by SomeGuy on Friday July 12 2019, @01:42PM (4 children)

    by SomeGuy (5632) on Friday July 12 2019, @01:42PM (#866225)

    The correct solution is for the President of the United States to GET THE FUCK OFF OF TWITTER! A president has absolutely no business posting on a privately owned and operated web site like Twitter.

    Make announcements available through a government run site. There is no need for any kind of direct commenting.

    Of course, if they did that then Trump would have to stop posting dumb shit, and that isn't going to happen.

    If Twitter ever becomes a purely public service like city/state roads then that is a different story.

    • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Friday July 12 2019, @03:17PM (1 child)

      by hemocyanin (186) on Friday July 12 2019, @03:17PM (#866262) Journal

      What if your post read: The correct solution is for the President of the United States to GET THE FUCK OFF OF TELEVISION! A president has absolutely no business delivering a speech on a privately owned and operated TV station like NBC ....

      • (Score: 2) by SomeGuy on Friday July 12 2019, @04:48PM

        by SomeGuy (5632) on Friday July 12 2019, @04:48PM (#866305)

        If he still had his own TV show, yes, that would absolutely apply.

        If he used one specific network to exclusively make live announcements, then yes, that would also apply.

        Imagine if ABC/CBS/FOX news always had to report "And today Donald Trump announced on NBC that such and such..." That would be very wrong.

        As it is, speeches are not usually JUST given on TV or to one network. They are given to an audience, and TV stations choose to cover that. [flips channel]

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12 2019, @08:01PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12 2019, @08:01PM (#866371)

      The correct solution is for the President of the United States to GET THE FUCK OFF OF TWITTER! A president has absolutely no business posting on a privately owned and operated web site like Twitter.

      So does he have any business answering questions from privately owned media companies? By your logic he does not. So he can rule without explaining himself. GREAT!

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12 2019, @08:19PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12 2019, @08:19PM (#866380)

        That makes no sense. Next time use a car analogy.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by DannyB on Friday July 12 2019, @02:48PM (4 children)

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday July 12 2019, @02:48PM (#866243) Journal

    This is not specifically about The Donald. I say that because some here will get triggered. This applies to any president. Not just the disgusting fat orange jackass clown.

    Suppose a president were to officially endorse a certain brand of orange juice? (it helps maintain a healthy youthful orange glow)

    Or a certain brand of squeezably soft bathroom tissue. (best if used with a solid gold toilet)

    Or he/she were to specifically and loudly disfavor some brand such as Diet Coke.

    Or he/she were to endorse a certain brand of social media platform.

    Should the office of the president be used to give commercial advantage or disadvantage like this? Can it be used like this?

    What about giving commercial dis/advantage to certain hotels, brothels, or dirty unhealthy methods of energy production?

    What if a president loudly, very loudly, and publicly says things about reporters? (such as that they must be bleeding, etc, because that kind of thing is always forefront on his/her mind. a matter of national importance)

     

    --
    When trying to solve a problem don't ask who suffers from the problem, ask who profits from the problem.
    • (Score: 2) by SomeGuy on Friday July 12 2019, @05:10PM (2 children)

      by SomeGuy (5632) on Friday July 12 2019, @05:10PM (#866316)

      Have you ever noticed that TV news will often go to the trouble of avoiding, blurring, or editing out most product brand names and logos? A prerecorded interview of someone wearing a Pepsi shirt may have the logo blurred or shots carefully cropped.

      And yet, they constantly shout "Today such and such was reported ON TWITTER(R)(TM)! Twitter(R)(TM), Twitter(R)(TM), Twitter(R)(TM), Twitter(R)(TM), blah blah blah, Twitter(R)(TM),!"

      Suppose a president were to officially endorse a certain brand

      President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho: "... brought to you by Carl's Jr! (Cuz, I get paid each time I say that, dumbass!)"

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12 2019, @08:38PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12 2019, @08:38PM (#866386)

        That's just Twitter being the "place". It allows what I'm going to loosely call "checking the source". When Bubba off the street is wearing a non-subsidized brand talking about the sound the tornado made when it went though the trailer park for the third time, the shirt is not relevant. I noticed Jim Beam mentioned a lot when it was a Jim Beam warehouse that had a "little" fire, because that's how you identify the place. It was not "A privately owned barn-like location storing a large amount of distilled liquor" because the place is relevant(especially with owners).

      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday July 12 2019, @09:40PM

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday July 12 2019, @09:40PM (#866420) Journal

        There is nothing wrong with mentioning brand names. Especially when it is extremely clear that you are simply making a factual statement, or a statement of opinion. But NOT trying to make a statement that could be taken as an endorsement or advertisement.

        For example:

        When I state my opinion that Microsoft Windows 10 is a steaming pile of horse excrement with a fresh topping of festering goat vomit, I am not trying to cause confusion in the market by my use of their trademark. I am using the trademark properly in order to ensure that there can be no possible confusion of which company or product I am referring to.

        --
        When trying to solve a problem don't ask who suffers from the problem, ask who profits from the problem.
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by DeathMonkey on Friday July 12 2019, @06:31PM

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Friday July 12 2019, @06:31PM (#866348) Journal

      Should the office of the president be used to give commercial advantage or disadvantage like this? Can it be used like this?

      What, government picking winners and loser?

      Here's the answer:

      While (R), totally fine.
      While (D), the root of all evil.

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