26 People Who’ve Been Blocked by Trump on Twitter

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Right now, at your fingertips, you have access to the interior monologue of the president of the United States — or, as former press secretary Sean Spicer called @realDonaldTrump’s digital feed, “official statements.” Unless, that is, you’re blocked. Trump and his staff have now stopped dozens of citizens from reading his dispatches, seemingly because they disagree with or insulted him. Several Twitter users (including those below marked with an *) have filed a lawsuit with Columbia’s Knight First Amendment Institute, claiming a violation of their right to free speech. The DOJ has counterargued that tweeting is a modern presidential duty and you can’t sue the president for doing his job. New York asked those #BlockedByTrump about the experience. The White House had no comment for this story, on Twitter or off.

Marina Sirtis @Marina_Sirtis
actor

Followers: 197,000
Date blocked: May 8
Tweet that got her blocked: “@realDonaldTrump threatening to go to WAR to deflect from Russiagate!! Willing to let our boys die to save his sorry ass!”

Holly O’Reilly* @AynRandPaulRyan
songwriter, activist, mom of five

Followers: 106,000
Date blocked: May 28
Tweet that got her blocked: “This is pretty much how the whole world sees you,” followed by a GIF of Pope Francis rolling his eyes.
What happened: “One day in late May, I thought, He’s being really quiet today! Maybe this is the pivot! Um, no. My first response was, ‘Are you serious? He sat there and blocked me with his little thumbs?’ But then I got angry. I was never personal — I don’t pick on his kids or his wife.”

Will Fischer @votevets
director of government relations for VoteVets

Followers: 89, 300
Date blocked: June 13
Tweet that got him blocked: “You’re describing your road to the White House to a T, @realDonaldTrump. Well, this and colluding with an adversary of the United States.”
What happened: “He’d started attacking the ‘fake news media,’ saying that the media drive a narrative of hate and divisiveness. We advocate for health care, raising the minimum wage, things from the perspective of veterans. It’s frustrating because our members know exactly how much these issues are life-and-death, and Donald Trump doesn’t. Ivanka Trump isn’t going to put on a flak jacket anytime soon.”

Rebecca Buckwalter-Poza* @rpbp
attorney and legal writer

Followers: 6,014
Date blocked: June 6
Tweet that got her blocked: “To be fair you didn’t win the WH: Russia won it for you.”
What happened: “It was never ‘LOL’ for me. Two of my grandparents came into the country seeking political freedom, one from Colombia and one from Franco’s Spain. I’ve lived in China and seen what it’s like. Also, I’m a contributor at Pacific Standard and my mandate is to cover Trump and the law. So you can imagine that this is cramping my work.”

Anne Rice @AnneRiceAuthor
author, Interview With the Vampire

Followers: 172,000
Date blocked: June 25
Tweet that got her blocked: “The Trump-GOP health care plan is a tax cut for the rich. Millions will lose coverage. A complete rip off.”
What happened: “I offer my political views every day on Twitter. I do believe in tweeting to arch-conservatives with whom I disagree, and so far Sarah Palin has not blocked me, and neither has Laura Ingraham. Speaker Ryan has not blocked me either, and the House Republicans haven’t. I was completely supportive of Hillary Clinton, and I had terrible experiences with the filth. I got threatening messages saying that Bernie Sanders supporters would boycott my books. As an American I just don’t know what to think. I’m worried. I hope it ends up being okay.”

Eugene Gu* @eugenegu
surgeon, medical researcher

Followers: 48,000
Date blocked: June 18
Tweet that got him blocked: “Covfefe: The same guy who doesn’t proofread his Twitter handles the nuclear button.”
What happened: “My research on using stem cells from fetal tissue to cure congenital heart defects got the attention of Marsha Blackburn, a [pro-life] congresswoman from Tennessee. It was absurd, because my research was literally trying to save the lives of infants. That’s when I got involved with politics. After he blocked me, I felt really sad and left out. I still feel like the area underneath his tweets is the most engaging area in all of social media.”

Chrissy Teigen @chrissyteigen
model, cookbook author

Followers: 7,360,000
Date blocked: July 23
Tweet that got her blocked: “Lolllllll no one likes you”

AJ Joshi @AJ
technology entrepreneur

Followers: 335,000
Date blocked: June 1
Tweet that got him blocked: “I guess ‘Making America Great Again’ means destroying the world.”
What happened: “The key benefit of being able to reply is to be part of the conversation. Some people think the benefit is to get exposure, but if you get a ton of Trump followers that doesn’t help you unless you’re selling MAGA hats. I’ve been completely silenced.”

Bess Kalb @bessbell
writer for Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Followers: 106,000
Date blocked: May 28
Tweet that got her blocked: “Honestly, hun this is all so far over your head. If you need to have another ‘bone spur’ and let Mike take over, no one will blame you.”

Philip Cohen* @familyunequal
University of Maryland sociologist studying inequality

Followers: 10,400
Date blocked: June 6
Tweet that got him blocked: A meme reading “Corrupt Incompetent Authoritarian: And then there are the policies. Resist.”
What happened: “I get up around 6:30 or 7 in the morning when he does his first tweets, so I got into the habit of responding. I thought of it like holding a sign at a protest. I love the idea that he was annoyed. I’m so happy to see this lawsuit. Norms are not enough — we have to decide what norms we are going to codify as rules.”

Rob Szczerba @RJSzczerba
rocket scientist and CEO at X Tech Ventures

Followers: 340,000
Date blocked: June 1
Tweet that got him blocked: “I heard #covfefe is a new flavor from Ben & Jerry’s. But it’s mostly just nuts!”
What happened: “The president had just pulled out of the Paris accord — this is also after his covfefe tweet — so I tweeted something harmless, something cute. And then I was going to follow up and I realized I was blocked. I thought it was an error, so I tried it again. It seems like something at that moment got under his skin, and I was thinking, Oh, wow, if this individual gets upset by something as simple as an ice-cream-flavor joke, he’s not going to handle anything else that comes along very well.”

Stephen King @StephenKing
author

Followers: 3,840,000
Date blocked: June 12
Tweet that got him blocked: “If Ivanka Trump had grown up in farm country, like some of us, she’d know her father is reaping exactly what he sowed.”

Joe Papp* @joepabike
former professional cyclist

Followers: 16,500
Date blocked: June 3
Tweet that got him blocked: “Greetings from Pittsburgh, Sir.”
What happened: “After he pulled out of the Paris climate accord, he’d made that silly reference in his speech that he was elected to represent Pittsburgh and not Paris. It wasn’t like I was personally offended, but I felt a deep sense of discomfort that a president would block a critic from his own party, because I’ve been a registered Republican for ten years. It’s stunning that he’s so granular in his thinking.”

Mike Elgan @MikeElgan
tech journalist

Followers: 34,500
Date blocked: June 15
Tweet that got him blocked: “BTW, a witch hunt is when you attack people on bad evidence, as with your birther attack on Obama. An investigation is about facts.”
What happened: “Once I was blocked I felt like I had achieved something and was now free. I’ve been dealing with trolls online for a long time, and the president’s tweets are exactly like trolling. He goads you into an emotional reaction, and every time I responded I felt kind of cheap and dirty, like I fell for it.”

Robert Maguire @RobertMaguire_
researcher at OpenSecrets

Followers: 14,200
Date blocked: June 24
Tweet that got him blocked: “This is not ‘just out.’ It was so well known before the election that Trump and Hillary talked about it in a debate”
What happened: He was responding to a tweet about Russian meddling: “I work for a transparency organization, and I pay attention to when he tweets about going to the golf courses that he still profits from. It’s surreal just how thin-skinned he is. The first person who blocked me on Twitter was the president — oh, yeah, I’ve also been blocked by Seb Gorka.”

RJ City @RJCity1
professional wrestler

Followers: 4,490
Date blocked: June 6
Tweet that got him blocked: “What about WKRP in Cincinnati?”
What happened: “He’d tweeted something about how the media all suck, CNN and MSNBC. The other people who have been blocked all seem like very smart people — writers and comedians and activists. I’m a professional wrestler who lives in Toronto, and I host a web series called ‘The Cynical Crafter.’ It’s so fucking petty. I attribute no cunning to him at all. I would love to, but he’s not that smart. It’s just a shitshow, and he happens to be the ringleader. And the shittiest part is that I’m still thinking about it, you’re writing a story about it. We’re all tangled up.”

Rosie O’Donnell @rosie
actor and comedian

Followers: 1,070,000
Date blocked: July 23
Tweet that got her blocked: “on ur back ? dear god don - the russians bought their train ticket - u r confused -prostitutes peeed on ur back in moscow”

Dani Bostick @danibostick
Latin teacher, advocate for victims of sexual violence

Followers: 13,900
Date blocked: July 16
Tweet that got her blocked: “Nice job sneaking Bedminster into the caption of the picture. Nothing like free advertising on your huge social-media account.”
What happened: “I woke up the next day and found out. What is he doing, blocking people in the night? That’s creepy. Now some of us who have been blocked keep in touch. It’s an interesting subculture, a sort of community.”

AND

Lauren Wolfe, journalist, @Wolfe321: “Trump repeatedly tweets white nationalist and fascist words. Now he’s actually saying them.” (blocked 6/5)

Andy Signore, Honest Trailers creator, @andysignore: “I am so damn sick of bully @realDonaldTrump taking words out of context to act out his agenda of fear, corruption & bigotry. #NotMyPresident” (6/5)

Jordan Thompson, ex–Clinton campaign staffer, @jordansdiamonds: “why haven’t you paid your respects to those lost in the terrorist attack in Portland?” (5/29)

Zack Hunt, writer, preacher, @ZaackHunt: “It’s true. After 200 days, few, if any, administrations have come anywhere close to achieving as little as yours has.” (8/8)

Luke Waltham, law student, @lukewaltham: “And you spend all your time on Twitter.” (7/24)

Mike Stuchbery, broadcaster, @MikeStuchbery_: “Yeah, yeah, but get this: Meeting with shady Russian fuckers is downright Unamerican.
Why let a foreign power get leverage? Jr’s a moron.” (7/17)

Elizabeth Desnoyers-Colas, professor, @MOVEprofPHD: “Aren’t you embarrassed yet? We are.” (6/15)

Sylvia Onyejekwe, attorney, @Tellall2012: “Of Course NK gave #OttoWarmbier to @realDonaldTrump. They played him! Gave him a deceased person. Terrible!” (6/20)

*This article appears in the September 18, 2017, issue of New York Magazine.

26 People Who’ve Been Blocked by Trump on Twitter