The latest investigation by James O’Keefe has revealed disturbing, but not very surprising, evidence that Twitter is systematically suppressing the voices of conservatives. Using algorithms to label the account as nothing more than a bot. Some would say that due to Twitter being a private domain, the industry is allowed subject its users to targeted discretion based on personal political affiliation.
However, a Federal judge made a ruling that president Trump could not block his critics without violating the first amendment. Yet, this shows complete ignorance of the way the twitter blocking system works. When you block someone on twitter it doesn’t prevent blocked users from seeing your tweets. It also doesn’t prevent a blocked user from talking about another individual or criticizing a person. It merely prevents a user from replying to an individual and stops the blocker from seeing the blocked person’s tweets. Knowing this, there is no way that Trump blocking another person is violating the blocked individual’s first amendment rights. They’re still allowed to speak, they’re still allowed to view his public tweets, they’re still allowed to publicly criticize his tweets though not directly to his face. It would be no different from Trump not being on twitter, and refusing to read a written letter.
If Twitter considers itself a private domain, then the Federal judge wouldn’t be able to even think about making this ruling. Some would argue that since Trump is a paid public official that he needs to listen to his critics. Yet, this argument only applies if the domain which he’s on is public AND his critics aren’t being verbally abusive. Criticism is not the same as verbal abuse, and all human beings are allowed the right to shield themselves from verbal abuse. The judge’s ruling on this was like telling someone they didn’t have the right to place a restraining order on a stalker, because the victim is a movie star. Because obviously, this would violate the stalker’s rights, right?
The reality is, it doesn’t matter if Twitter is a private OR a public domain. Everyone has a right to say what they wish WITHOUT being silenced, but people also have a right to NOT look at it. Trump is NOT violating anyone’s rights or silencing anyone… he is simply using his own rights by not giving certain people the time of day. The only person violating people’s first Amendment rights is twitter staff.