The US Supreme Court has not ruled on whether Donald Trump, as US President, was allowed to block Twitter users. Because Joe Biden’s predecessor has been permanently banned by the social medium, the case is being pushed aside, the verdict read.
The issue dates back to when Trump was still US president. A court ruled in 2018 that in that role he was also not allowed to block Twitter followers with his private account, because these users could not respond to his tweets.
A year later, an objection court agreed. If the president blocks followers, “freedom of speech will actually – albeit modestly – be curtailed.” “It doesn’t take more to violate the constitution,” the verdict said.
Trump as president had the official account @POTUS, but used his private account @realDonaldTrump much more often to announce or defend policy and to respond to the news or political developments.
The former president appealed. But because Trump handed the baton to Biden in January, the Supreme Court does not want to pass judgment. The judgment of the court of objection has therefore also been set aside.
Twitter has permanently banned Trump
Additionally, Twitter permanently banned Trump after his supporters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6. This raises new questions, says the Supreme Court.
“It would be strange to say that something is a governmental platform (and thus protected by the US Constitution, ed.) If a private company has the authority to overturn it.” That is abrasive, says the Supreme Court. Trump as an individual blocked a number of people, but Twitter immediately bans all users by banning him, the Supreme Court notes.
The appeals court feared that then President Trump was restricting freedom of speech with features that Twitter made available to him. But if the goal is not to restrict freedom of speech, then the most glaring concern should be the dominant digital platform itself. “
According to the court, this raises “interesting and important questions” about the power of Twitter and other social media, but these cannot be answered in this case.