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Why Twitter can suspend President Trump, but politicians can't block users

Twitter
Posted at 9:36 PM, Jan 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-20 10:06:19-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — After the Capitol riots on January 6th, President Trump was permanently suspended on Twitter after violating the platforms policies.

"A social media platform can create policies about who is allowed on that platform, what kind of content is allowed on that platform," said Casey Fiesler, CU Boulder Information scientist.

While Twitter can suspend or block accounts, politicians or any government official can't, as that violates the First Amendment.

"The First Amendment protects you from the government not allowing you to speak, so Twitter is not the government, but Trump is the government," said Fiesler.

On Sunday, former State Representative, Bri Buentello filed a lawsuit against State Representative, Lauren Boebert, for blocking Buentello on Twitter.

According to Casey Fiesler, information scientist at CU Boulder, Boebert went against the First Amendment as she stopped Buentello from talking to her.

"I think it's important that these policies are clear so people understand why content is being removed," said Fiesler.

Fiesler also shares her thoughts on the power social media platforms have on our country, "I think that there is going to be a fallout from this. Not just around social media policies, but the amount of power these companies have. Some of the conversations around monopolies might be spurred on from this."

It's a topic that has now sparked many conversations to be had about the policies within social media, and what happens with President Trump once he leaves office.
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