Should POTUS be blocking people on Twitter? Probably not, Manhattan federal judge Naomi Reice Buchwald recommended on Thursday. The case was brought before Judge Buchwald by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, which is representing seven people who have been blocked — meaning they cannot see his Twitter profile or his tweets — by Donald Trump. Specifically his personal account, @realDonaldTrump. “Isn’t the answer he just mutes the person he finds personally offensive?” the judge said, according to the Associated Press. “He can avoid hearing them by muting them.”
Why, yes, your honor. That would be correct. That is also what truly anybody who has ever used Twitter could have told Donald Trump. It’s usually better, and less dramatic, to just mute somebody you’re beefing with on Twitter, rather than going for the full-on middle finger that is the Twitter block. Obviously, there are cases — harassment and violent threats against women to name a few — where blocking is absolutely the move. That is not the case with the accounts Trump has blocked from viewing his account.
Judge Buchwald’s recommendation is just that … a recommendation. Lawyers for both sides of the case will now decide if a deal can be reached based on this week’s recommendation. Buchwald warned that if she is forced to make a ruling on the case, one side — or both — could end up unhappy. “If there’s a settlement, that serves the interests of all parties. It’s often considered the wisest way to go,” she said. Meaning Trump could end up having to unblock those seven people if the case goes their way and the judge rules that Trump blocking citizens is a violation of the First Amendment.