Whitney Phillips, assistant professor of communication and rhetorical studies in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, authored an op-ed for Wired: “The Election Will Bring a Hurricane of Misinformation.” Phillips, an expert on disinformation and political communication, says the…
Trump Blocking Users on Twitter is a Violation of the First Amendment
Roy Gutterman, free speech expert and associate professor at Newhouse School for Public Communications, is available for comment about the news that Twitter users are suing President Donald Trump and White House officials Sean Spicer and Daniel Scavino for blocking them on Twitter.
“This lawsuit is asking the court to prevent the President of the United States from blocking users he does not like from his chosen mode of communication. If the President is declaring Twitter an integral part of the modern presidency and a primary tool for communication, then the government cannot block citizens from accessing the Twitter feed. This is a modern abuse of the First Amendment and the free flow of information,” said Gutterman who is also director of the Tully Center for Free Speech. “Social media is the place where we exchange and receive information and express ourselves in our modern world. These are public venues, which happen to be run by private entities. These venues allow for the types of exclusions we see being challenged here. But the blocking technology was not intended for this kind of use – blocking critics and dissidents.”
“The plaintiffs in this case and the Knight Center are taking a bold step to keep government officials accountable,” said Gutterman.
Gutterman is available to speak to media about this issue. He can be interviewed via email/phone/Skype/LTN studio. Contact Ellen James Mbuqe, director of news and public relations at Syracuse University, at 315.443.1897 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Wendy Loughlin, director of communications at Newhouse, at 315.443.2785 or email@example.com, to arrange an interview.