Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #51  
Old 06-08-2017, 12:32 PM
D'Anconia D'Anconia is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 3,958
Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
Once again, I am not talking about what is "legally binding"-that is not the topic of this thread, whether what he posts in his personal account is what is of concern to me(and apparently several major websites and the Press Secretary himself) and as I have already stated in the OP
I don't know how many I have to say that I am not a lawyer for you to quit asking me(and so many others) to provide "case law", but frankly it's tiring.
If it's tiring you, perhaps you shouldn't start threads in Great Debates about what violates the First Amendment, and then go on to state that something violates the Presidential Records Act.
  #52  
Old 06-08-2017, 12:34 PM
Richard Parker Richard Parker is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Manhattan
Posts: 11,770
90% of the posts in this thread don't even understand the legal theory being offered here.

Why would you bother posting before actually reading about the legal theories? What do you get from that?
  #53  
Old 06-08-2017, 12:37 PM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm Czarcasm is online now
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 56,721
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
So are you asking about the non-legal implications of the First Amendment and the Presidential Records Act of 1978, then?
Before I answer, I would like to know if you have read any of the links given so far and, if so, are you disagreeing with what they are saying, or are you disagreeing with my (admittedly amateur and simplistic) interpretations of what they are saying?
  #54  
Old 06-08-2017, 12:45 PM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm Czarcasm is online now
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 56,721
By the way, Bricker, since you are more learned when it comes to legal issues, if you have any case law that pertains to the issues raised in this thread then cite away.
edited to add: and it would be nice if you gave the content, and not just the name and/or case number. Not all of us have easy access to those sources and/or the training to use them properly.

Last edited by Czarcasm; 06-08-2017 at 12:48 PM.
  #55  
Old 06-08-2017, 12:46 PM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 67,707
Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
Before I answer, I would like to know if you have read any of the links given so far and, if so, are you disagreeing with what they are saying, or are you disagreeing with my (admittedly amateur and simplistic) interpretations of what they are saying?
What they're saying is "we're not sure how this works," for the most part. My (slightly less amateur but still not fully informed) opinion is that this is an interesting scenario which is not on all fours with existing law.
  #56  
Old 06-08-2017, 01:50 PM
Bricker Bricker is offline
And Full Contact Origami
SDSAB
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 56,068
Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
By the way, Bricker, since you are more learned when it comes to legal issues, if you have any case law that pertains to the issues raised in this thread then cite away.
edited to add: and it would be nice if you gave the content, and not just the name and/or case number. Not all of us have easy access to those sources and/or the training to use them properly.
JIM: That thing you're doing is illegal!

TONY: No, it's not.

JIM: Is so.

TONY: Is not. What law does it violate?

JIM: What law says you can do it?

TONY: I asked you for a cite to the law that's being violated.

JIM: And I asked YOU for a cite to the law that says you can do it!

(In tonight's performance, the part of Jim will be played by Czarcasm.)

There is no case law that declares a private Twitter account can transform into a public forum because a press secretary says it's "official."

But the point here is that none of your citations lay out a cogent legal theory for why this might suddenly be the case.

So the difference in my asking you for a case law citation and you asking me for one is that my claim is: no such case exists. My cite is the Federal Reporter, which lists every federal circuit case.

Your cite should be the specific case that supports your theory.
  #57  
Old 06-08-2017, 02:03 PM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm Czarcasm is online now
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 56,721
It sure should be...if I were a lawyer presenting a case and/or this was a court of law.
But I'm not. I'm just a civvie that has noticed a few articles that seem to have made a case(NOT a legal case, before you try to bring up that definition of the word) that the President might be violating the 1st Amendment and/or the Presidential Records Act of 1978. If you have caselaw, then add it to the pile. If you have an informed opinion, then that is welcome, too.
At the beginning of all this I gave a preliminary opinion based on what I have read so far, and welcomed other information and opinions. Such are still welcome.
  #58  
Old 06-08-2017, 02:07 PM
Shodan Shodan is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Milky Way Galaxy
Posts: 37,073
Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
I think a simple reading of The Presidential Records Act of 1978 indicates that a copy has to preserved for the record.
So do I.

But you said
Quote:
the official White has Twitter account keeps a permanent backup of anything deleted...
So a copy has been preserved for the record.
Quote:
Do you think that if he just preserves a copy for personal access only it satisfies the requirement of The Presidential Records Act?
What does the word "just" in this sentence refer to?

Regards,
Shodan
  #59  
Old 06-08-2017, 02:12 PM
Bone's Avatar
Bone Bone is offline
Extrajudicial
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,275
Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
I'm just a civvie that has noticed a few articles that seem to have made a case(NOT a legal case, before you try to bring up that definition of the word) that the President might be violating the 1st Amendment and/or the Presidential Records Act of 1978.
(my bold)

How do you reconcile the statement that you are not making a legal claim while simultaneously raising potential 1st amendment and Presidential Records Act violations? I'm not aware that non-legal violations of those are possible, unless you are talking about the spirit of those two things?

Last edited by Bone; 06-08-2017 at 02:12 PM.
  #60  
Old 06-08-2017, 02:21 PM
iamthewalrus(:3= iamthewalrus(:3= is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Posts: 11,058
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bone View Post
I'm not aware that non-legal violations of those are possible, unless you are talking about the spirit of those two things?
Even if we assume we are talking about the spirit of the First Amendment, I don't see a violation, and you have to twist it pretty hard to find one.

The spirit of the First Amendment is about being able to speak/worship/assemble/complain freely. There's really nothing in the concept that requires the government to give a shit about what you are speaking/praying/assembling/complaining about.
  #61  
Old 06-08-2017, 02:41 PM
Typo Negative's Avatar
Typo Negative Typo Negative is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: 7th Level of Hell, Ca
Posts: 16,897
Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
I think a simple reading of The Presidential Records Act of 1978 indicates that a copy has to preserved for the record.
Well, seeing as how every one of them has printed in every newspaper, paper and online, I think that's covered. If not, I feel certain Twitter can do a printout of inanities that the President has put forth. Or we could do a google search. Nothing is every really deleted in this day and age.

I do not see how Twitter blocking can possibly be a 1st Amendment issue. It's not like they can't get the information. Even people smart enough not to have twitter accounts can get those. Some twitter users are being blocked from the President, but they still have their own accounts and continue to be free to tweet whatever they like.

You are free to stand up on a soapbox, but I don't have to let you use mine.

Last edited by Typo Negative; 06-08-2017 at 02:42 PM.
  #62  
Old 06-08-2017, 02:52 PM
HeweyLogan's Avatar
HeweyLogan HeweyLogan is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 566
Quote:
Originally Posted by Typo Negative View Post
Some twitter users are being blocked from the President, but they still have their own accounts and continue to be free to tweet whatever they like.
And have everyone else see it (Minus Trump and anyone else who has that particular person blocked).

It seems to me you really really want this to be true and an issue but can't come to terms with it not being one.

You'll have to wait until tomorrow (or later this afternoon... or even next hour).
  #63  
Old 06-08-2017, 03:04 PM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm Czarcasm is online now
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 56,721
Quote:
Originally Posted by Typo Negative View Post
Well, seeing as how every one of them has printed in every newspaper, paper and online, I think that's covered. If not, I feel certain Twitter can do a printout of inanities that the President has put forth. Or we could do a google search. Nothing is every really deleted in this day and age.
I'm not sure that deliberately deleting originals and relying on copies provided by other sources not directly connected to the President is what the Act has in mind, but I am open to the idea if it can be shown to have happened in the past.
  #64  
Old 06-08-2017, 03:09 PM
RTFirefly RTFirefly is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Maryland
Posts: 35,867
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaper View Post
Does it make any difference that there is now a segment of Americans that cannot directly read what the Press Secretary called official communications from the President?
Quote:
Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
What do you mean they can't read it? I don't have a Twitter account at all and I can read his tweets: https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump
You beat me to it. If Trump could block people from reading his tweets, I think there'd be a real issue. But as you say, you can read anyone's tweets just the way you read any other Web page, without anyone being able to block you.

The only thing Trump's blocking is your ability to respond directly to his tweets in the way that particular medium lets you do if you have a Twitter account, and that sucks I guess, but that's life. There's no First Amendment issue here.
  #65  
Old 06-08-2017, 03:09 PM
Typo Negative's Avatar
Typo Negative Typo Negative is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: 7th Level of Hell, Ca
Posts: 16,897
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeweyLogan View Post

It seems to me you really really want this to be true and an issue but can't come to terms with it not being one.
Not really, no. I don't feel this is an issue at all.
  #66  
Old 06-08-2017, 03:31 PM
Ravenman Ravenman is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 23,988
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
The press secretary cannot, by his utterance, transform a Twitter account created by Trump well before he became a candidate into an official government asset.

That's prohibited by the Takings Clause.
Which only means that Mr. Trump is owed a LOT of money by the Government for seizing his Twitter account, which is the biggest in the world.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
I think that if The President's Own Press Secretary was saying something that wasn't factually correct as far as the White House is concerned, they wouldn't be letting him say it during press conferences at the White House.
Blink. Blink. Blink.

Did you really just say that?

Don't you know that Trump moves so fast that people can't expect accuracy from press briefings anymore?
  #67  
Old 06-08-2017, 03:36 PM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm Czarcasm is online now
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 56,721
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenman View Post
Which only means that Mr. Trump is owed a LOT of money by the Government for seizing his Twitter account, which is the biggest in the world.
Please do NOT give Trump the idea that he can profit from this, too.
  #68  
Old 06-08-2017, 03:40 PM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm Czarcasm is online now
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 56,721
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenman View Post
Yeah, there IS that little problem. Are there any statements from The White House contradicting the Press Secretary's statement that all Presidential tweets are official statements from the Prez hisself yet?
  #69  
Old 06-08-2017, 03:44 PM
Bricker Bricker is offline
And Full Contact Origami
SDSAB
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 56,068
Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
It sure should be...if I were a lawyer presenting a case and/or this was a court of law.
But I'm not. I'm just a civvie that has noticed a few articles that seem to have made a case(NOT a legal case, before you try to bring up that definition of the word) that the President might be violating the 1st Amendment and/or the Presidential Records Act of 1978. If you have caselaw, then add it to the pile. If you have an informed opinion, then that is welcome, too.
At the beginning of all this I gave a preliminary opinion based on what I have read so far, and welcomed other information and opinions. Such are still welcome.
None of the few articles have actually offered up a cogent legal theory to support what they're suggesting might be the case.

You offered up those articles without presenting a cogent legal theory to buttress their claims.

I am not aware of any cogent legal theories that might support these claims.

So the common thread here is.... a lack of cogent legal theory.

My opinion is: there is no First Amendment or statutory violation arising from the President's decision to block people from his @RealDonaldTrump Twitter handle. It would fall to the person making the opposite claim to identify the specific theory that there IS such a violation.
  #70  
Old 06-08-2017, 03:45 PM
HeweyLogan's Avatar
HeweyLogan HeweyLogan is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 566
Quote:
Originally Posted by Typo Negative View Post
Not really, no. I don't feel this is an issue at all.
Sorry. Meant that part of my post for Czarcasm (The OP), not you.
  #71  
Old 06-08-2017, 03:51 PM
Ravenman Ravenman is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 23,988
Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
Yeah, there IS that little problem. Are there any statements from The White House contradicting the Press Secretary's statement that all Presidential tweets are official statements from the Prez hisself yet?
See post 56. Spicer can say that Trump has annexed Mars: it is inherently a unsupported claim with no reason to take it seriously, and "The White House" failing to contradict such a silly claim has no bearing on the truth of it.

Last edited by Ravenman; 06-08-2017 at 03:52 PM.
  #72  
Old 06-08-2017, 03:58 PM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm Czarcasm is online now
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 56,721
Apparently, nothing is official White House Policy unless it is signed by the President in front of witnesses...or are there exceptions to that, too?
  #73  
Old 06-08-2017, 04:04 PM
Ravenman Ravenman is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 23,988
Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
Apparently, nothing is official White House Policy unless it is signed by the President in front of witnesses...or are there exceptions to that, too?
What on earth are you talking about? White House staff make policy decisions all the time, to the extent that they have a legal basis to do so. But just because a White House staffer says something is so, does not make it so.

I'm starting to think this thread is some kind of joke.
  #74  
Old 06-08-2017, 05:14 PM
Bricker Bricker is offline
And Full Contact Origami
SDSAB
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 56,068
Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
Apparently, nothing is official White House Policy unless it is signed by the President in front of witnesses...or are there exceptions to that, too?
No, and for a guy who's just a curious amateur seeking information from a purely neutral perspective, you seem remarkably resistant to this particular information: there is no real legal relevance to "official" in this context. Spicer did not say that Trump has donated the account to the government. He didn't say that the the account is nor officially subject to NARA restrictions.

And even if he did say those things, that doesn't make them true. Spicer cannot donate a Twitter account he doesn't own.
  #75  
Old 06-08-2017, 07:56 PM
Richard Parker Richard Parker is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Manhattan
Posts: 11,770
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
None of the few articles have actually offered up a cogent legal theory to support what they're suggesting might be the case.

You offered up those articles without presenting a cogent legal theory to buttress their claims.

I am not aware of any cogent legal theories that might support these claims.

So the common thread here is.... a lack of cogent legal theory.

My opinion is: there is no First Amendment or statutory violation arising from the President's decision to block people from his @RealDonaldTrump Twitter handle. It would fall to the person making the opposite claim to identify the specific theory that there IS such a violation.
Did you not read the Volokh post?

It offers a cogent legal theory. The replies to tweets operate as a limited public forum from which comments may not be excluded on the basis of viewpoint. EV endorses this framework but is skeptical that the account's actions count as government actions--which is fair. There are clear arguments both ways given the way Trump uses the account for official business.

You may not agree with that theory. But saying it isn't cogent seems plainly wrong.
  #76  
Old 06-08-2017, 08:14 PM
Bricker Bricker is offline
And Full Contact Origami
SDSAB
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 56,068
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Parker View Post
Did you not read the Volokh post?

It offers a cogent legal theory. The replies to tweets operate as a limited public forum from which comments may not be excluded on the basis of viewpoint. EV endorses this framework but is skeptical that the account's actions count as government actions--which is fair. There are clear arguments both ways given the way Trump uses the account for official business.

You may not agree with that theory. But saying it isn't cogent seems plainly wrong.
I did.

Drawing from the Cacheris opinions in the Davison v. Plowman and Davison v. Loudoun County Board of Supervisors cases, there is a key difference between " is run by a government agency," and " is run by an individual officeholder." @RealDonaldTrump is the latter. "The mere fact that Defendant Randall holds public office does not subject every social media account she controls to First Amendment scrutiny."

Eugene says: "Again, my inclination is to say that @RealDonaldTrump, an account that Trump began to use long before he became president, and one that is understood as expressing his own views — apparently in his own words and with his own typos — rather than some institutional position of the executive branch, would likely be seen as privately controlled, so that his blocking decisions wouldn’t be constrained by the First Amendment."

He lays out the factors that might cause a private account to be considered public bit does not suggest that they apply here.

So there is a cogent legal theory for some private accounts, where "...officeholders have involved their staffers in the maintenance of the social media account," but not one for Trump's Twitter, which warts and all appears to be his and not his staff's.
  #77  
Old 06-08-2017, 08:20 PM
Bone's Avatar
Bone Bone is offline
Extrajudicial
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,275
I read Prof Volokh as well and thought it was well laid out. I think the case for @POTUS may be stronger, but still treading relatively new ground.

Still not sure if we're discussing the law, or the spirit of it, or something else - that seems muddied.
  #78  
Old 06-08-2017, 08:45 PM
John Mace's Avatar
John Mace John Mace is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: South Bay
Posts: 84,111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
I did.

Drawing from the Cacheris opinions in the Davison v. Plowman and Davison v. Loudoun County Board of Supervisors cases, there is a key difference between " is run by a government agency," and " is run by an individual officeholder." @RealDonaldTrump is the latter. "The mere fact that Defendant Randall holds public office does not subject every social media account she controls to First Amendment scrutiny."

Eugene says: "Again, my inclination is to say that @RealDonaldTrump, an account that Trump began to use long before he became president, and one that is understood as expressing his own views — apparently in his own words and with his own typos — rather than some institutional position of the executive branch, would likely be seen as privately controlled, so that his blocking decisions wouldn’t be constrained by the First Amendment."

He lays out the factors that might cause a private account to be considered public bit does not suggest that they apply here.

So there is a cogent legal theory for some private accounts, where "...officeholders have involved their staffers in the maintenance of the social media account," but not one for Trump's Twitter, which warts and all appears to be his and not his staff's.
One might argue that the horrendous grammar, misspelling and lack of coherency proves that no staffers have been able to manage his account.
  #79  
Old 06-08-2017, 10:41 PM
eulalia's Avatar
eulalia eulalia is offline
Chartist
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: 40°35'7"N/105°5'2"W
Posts: 2,216
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anny Middon View Post
Why doesn't the White House disable all comments on his tweets? I'm serious. If he doesn't allow comments that disagree with him, what value is there to the comments except to stroke his fragile ego? (OK, I suspect that's exactly what President Snowflake wants, but I don't think it's healthy.)
I don't think it's that easy on Twitter. You can block people individually, and some people have made filters and block lists, but to block everyone globally would mean no one who is logged in can read your tweets, which would be idiotic, so I don't think anyone has come up with a way to do that. There may be a way to mute everyone instead, so they can see your stuff but you don't have to look at theirs, but that kind of defeats the whole purpose of Twitter in the first place. It's a conversation after all.
  #80  
Old 06-09-2017, 06:14 AM
Bricker Bricker is offline
And Full Contact Origami
SDSAB
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 56,068
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anny Middon View Post
Why doesn't the White House disable all comments on his tweets?
Because the White House doesn't control the account. Donald Trump does.
  #81  
Old 06-09-2017, 06:34 AM
asahi's Avatar
asahi asahi is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: On your computer screen
Posts: 6,407
I read Volokh's comments and thought his reasoning was sound and seems to mirror what I've been thinking all along, which is that it comes down to how you interpret Trump's twitter account. Is it his personal account or is it a White House account? It seems to me it's the former, not the latter. He's tweeting from the same personal account that he had before taking office. That he holds public office doesn't make his private, personal accounts less private and less personal. Sure, his comments are obviously of public interest and in the public sphere, but that doesn't change the fact that Donald Trump, the person, still has the right to control his devices as he sees fit.
  #82  
Old 06-09-2017, 06:51 AM
galen ubal galen ubal is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Central VIC Australia
Posts: 2,201
Quote:
Originally Posted by asahi View Post
I read Volokh's comments and thought his reasoning was sound and seems to mirror what I've been thinking all along, which is that it comes down to how you interpret Trump's twitter account. Is it his personal account or is it a White House account? It seems to me it's the former, not the latter. He's tweeting from the same personal account that he had before taking office. That he holds public office doesn't make his private, personal accounts less private and less personal. Sure, his comments are obviously of public interest and in the public sphere, but that doesn't change the fact that Donald Trump, the person, still has the right to control his devices as he sees fit.
Perhaps, but he's still using his personal account to make pronouncements relevant to his duties - like who he was nominating for the head of the FBI.
  #83  
Old 06-09-2017, 09:31 AM
Mtgman Mtgman is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Searching for Tanelorn
Posts: 6,166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenman View Post
Which only means that Mr. Trump is owed a LOT of money by the Government for seizing his Twitter account, which is the biggest in the world.
Point of fact, Trump's Twitter account doesn't crack the top 30 in terms of followers as of June 8th 2017. It's currently about 1/3 the size of Barak Obama's.

Enjoy,
Steven
  #84  
Old 06-09-2017, 09:33 AM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 67,707
Quote:
Originally Posted by galen ubal View Post
Perhaps, but he's still using his personal account to make pronouncements relevant to his duties - like who he was nominating for the head of the FBI.
Well, he's POTUS, and sort of sui generis in that regard; almost everything a president says is relevant to his duties. But that doesn't mean that a POTUS can't - for example - hold a fundraising event which is not open to the public, even if he's going to talk about upcoming nominees there.
  #85  
Old 06-09-2017, 09:43 AM
John Mace's Avatar
John Mace John Mace is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: South Bay
Posts: 84,111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Really Not All That Bright View Post
Well, he's POTUS, and sort of sui generis in that regard; almost everything a president says is relevant to his duties. But that doesn't mean that a POTUS can't - for example - hold a fundraising event which is not open to the public, even if he's going to talk about upcoming nominees there.
Goddam you. You stole my idea!! That does it. I'm cutting you off from my twitter account.
  #86  
Old 06-09-2017, 10:01 AM
asahi's Avatar
asahi asahi is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: On your computer screen
Posts: 6,407
Quote:
Originally Posted by galen ubal View Post
Perhaps, but he's still using his personal account to make pronouncements relevant to his duties - like who he was nominating for the head of the FBI.
That is actually a very strong counter-argument and I suppose that the more he does this, the more he uses his Twitter in an official capacity, the stronger that argument becomes. I guess when I think of Sir Donald's tweeting binges, I tend to think of it as a kind of bizarro public diary in which he catalogues the inner thoughts of Donald in real time. My own perception of Trump -- and it's strictly my perception that doesn't have to be shared by others -- is that Trump sort of vacillates between being a reality TV character and being president. I sometimes get the sense that he's not really sure which role he's assuming at any given moment either.

But you do indeed raise a fair point. He is the sitting President of the United States, and he does tend to make official announcements using his twitter account and bypassing the usual channels of communication. I think it's fair to say that if someone operating in the public trust and public interest is primarily using a private medium to communicate with the public about matters of state, then it might not be unreasonable to consider such a medium less private and personal in nature.
  #87  
Old 06-09-2017, 12:29 PM
Bricker Bricker is offline
And Full Contact Origami
SDSAB
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 56,068
Quote:
Originally Posted by galen ubal View Post
Perhaps, but he's still using his personal account to make pronouncements relevant to his duties - like who he was nominating for the head of the FBI.


So what?

If Trump owned a billboard before he became President, and used it after he became President to announce who he was nominating for the FBI spot, the billboard would not then be transformed into a public forum.
__________________
It was always the Doctor and Sarah.
  #88  
Old 06-12-2017, 06:33 AM
Rhythmdvl Rhythmdvl is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Shakedown Street
Posts: 12,955
I don't use Twitter, so please forgive any misconceptions or things that may be obvious to the most casual of users.


I get the impression that once a tweet is made, people can comment on it and then other people can respond to those comments. This can lead to not only a back-and-forth between commenters, but lurkers reading and being affected by the conversation.

I assume that like many websites, creating alternate accounts in order to circumvent a block is a violation of Twitter’s terms of service.

If ToS in general are of any consequence at all, this means that someone who is blocked is effectively unable to receive ‘live’ tweets.

Further, it means that anyone who was blocked is unable to actively participate in the conversation, not just to the original tweeter, but to others commenting on that tweet.

I don’t know if it also violates the ToS, but in order to read the live tweets, someone would have to repeatedly log out (and then back in to their own account).

Because of the nature, import, affect and notoriety of his tweets (not necessarily all), and because of the nature, import and affect of the conversations regarding his tweets, and because of the open nature of Twitter itself (as I understand it), it follows (to me), that he is creating a public space with a high focus on political discourse. He is excluding people from that space based on the content of their ideas.

By blocking people, isn’t he preventing a major method of communication? Not him refusing to read something, but rather the attempt to contact him. It’s tantamount to directing the post office to refuse to pick up mail addressed to the White House if it comes from an address associated with a member of the Democratic party.

The mass communication design/aspect of Twitter distinguishes it from a cell phone or other mode where it is a limited resource. The interactive aspect distinguishes it from a billboard that is clearly one-way.

Beyond whether he can read (or not) a comment, he is preventing members of the public from communicating with each other, in a forum that has a draw many orders of magnitude higher than a public square. He is preventing that conversation not because of time/place/manner-type objections, but specifically due to the content of opposing political opinions.
  #89  
Old 06-12-2017, 08:58 AM
Richard Parker Richard Parker is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Manhattan
Posts: 11,770
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
So what?

If Trump owned a billboard before he became President, and used it after he became President to announce who he was nominating for the FBI spot, the billboard would not then be transformed into a public forum.
What is your understanding of how a nonpublic forum becomes a limited public forum (or a private forum a public forum, if that's the only argument)?

Last edited by Richard Parker; 06-12-2017 at 08:59 AM.
  #90  
Old 06-12-2017, 09:22 AM
Bricker Bricker is offline
And Full Contact Origami
SDSAB
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 56,068
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Parker View Post
What is your understanding of how a nonpublic forum becomes a limited public forum (or a private forum a public forum, if that's the only argument)?
The three recognized types of fora are the traditional public forum, the nonpublic forum, and the designated or limited public forum. (Goulart v. Meadows, 345 F. 3d 239 (4th Cir 2003). The third category of government property, the designated public forum, is property which the government has opened for expressive activity to the public, or some segment of the public. A designated public forum can only be created by "purposeful government action" in which "the government must intend to make the property `generally available.'" (Goulart at 249, my emphasis)

In the electronic realm, the factors tending to establish a limited public forum include: whether the forum was created by private actor or pursuant to a government action or policy; whether the forum is administered by privately-owned equipment or with government-owned equipment; whether the content provided by the forum is the result of government-paid staff. Page v Lexington County Schools discusses how a private forum for government speech can become a limited public forum by opening up for public commentary and feedback. But this does not apply to a private forum for individual speech.

That's my understanding.
  #91  
Old 06-12-2017, 09:26 AM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 67,707
It's a hell of a sell if you can get people to agree that one of the most widely viewed Twitter feeds in America is "private."
  #92  
Old 06-12-2017, 09:37 AM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm Czarcasm is online now
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 56,721
Quote:
Originally Posted by Really Not All That Bright View Post
It's a hell of a sell if you can get people to agree that one of the most widely viewed Twitter feeds in America is "private."
Not so hard when you realize that the President of the United States is using an unsecured medium, one on which he himself has complained about being hacked, as a means to make official declarations. Until the White House makes a declaration that what the Press Secretary said was wrong, that everything coming from the President's private Twitter account is NOT to be considered an official statement, or until the President is blocked from making any official statements from anything other than the official White House account(which supposedly has been made more secure than the unofficial one), then an obvious problem exists.
  #93  
Old 06-12-2017, 09:39 AM
Bricker Bricker is offline
And Full Contact Origami
SDSAB
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 56,068
Quote:
Originally Posted by Really Not All That Bright View Post
It's a hell of a sell if you can get people to agree that one of the most widely viewed Twitter feeds in America is "private."
"Private," in the sense of privately-controlled, as opposed to government-controlled. "Belonging to or concerning an individual person, company, or interest," in other words. @ladygaga is a private Twitter account because Lady Gaga runs it, not the government. @barackobama is a private Twitter account for the same reason: Lady Gaga runs it.

  #94  
Old 06-12-2017, 09:40 AM
Bricker Bricker is offline
And Full Contact Origami
SDSAB
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 56,068
Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
Not so hard when you realize that the President of the United States is using an unsecured medium, one on which he himself has complained about being hacked, as a means to make official declarations. Until the White House makes a declaration that what the Press Secretary said was wrong, that everything coming from the President's private Twitter account is NOT to be considered an official statement, or until the President is blocked from making any official statements from anything other than the official White House account(which supposedly has been made more secure than the unofficial one), then an obvious problem exists.
Your fixation on the "official" declarations of the White House Press Secretary is adorable.

And by "adorable," I mean "not adorable."
  #95  
Old 06-12-2017, 09:47 AM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm Czarcasm is online now
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 56,721
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
Your fixation on the "official" declarations of the White House Press Secretary is adorable.

And by "adorable," I mean "not adorable."
Since major publications/websites on both sides of the political stream seem to think it's an issue, then whether you think it is "adorable" or not is of little concern to me. I'm sure there are plenty of other "adorable" threads out there to keep you entertained, though.
  #96  
Old 06-12-2017, 10:56 AM
Bricker Bricker is offline
And Full Contact Origami
SDSAB
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 56,068
Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
Since major publications/websites on both sides of the political stream seem to think it's an issue, then whether you think it is "adorable" or not is of little concern to me. I'm sure there are plenty of other "adorable" threads out there to keep you entertained, though.
Which publications think it's an issue, exactly? What specifically are they saying? Are they citing legal authority?
  #97  
Old 06-12-2017, 10:59 AM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm Czarcasm is online now
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 56,721
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
Which publications think it's an issue, exactly? What specifically are they saying? Are they citing legal authority?
Have you read any of the links already provided in this thread, starting with the one in the OP?
  #98  
Old 06-12-2017, 11:14 AM
Richard Parker Richard Parker is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Manhattan
Posts: 11,770
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
The third category of government property, the designated public forum, is property which the government has opened for expressive activity to the public, or some segment of the public. A designated public forum can only be created by "purposeful government action" in which "the government must intend to make the property `generally available.'" (Goulart at 249, my emphasis)
Ok. So do you agree that, assuming this Twitter account is a government forum at all (which I realize is very much in dispute), it is more likely a limited public forum than a nonpublic forum given the ability (of some people) to append comments to the posts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
In the electronic realm, the factors tending to establish a limited public forum include: whether the forum was created by private actor or pursuant to a government action or policy; whether the forum is administered by privately-owned equipment or with government-owned equipment; whether the content provided by the forum is the result of government-paid staff.
So two of those three factors are unknown but may well point to government action (actions on government-paid phone by government-paid staff), while the third unequivocally does not (who created the forum). As in the cases Volokh cites, the key determinant seems to be the content of the posts. The more you talk about work and make official pronouncements, the closer it gets to state action. And there is a pretty good argument that Trump does a lot of governing by tweet.

So doesn't that make this a colorable case instead of the quixotic abuse of process you've painted it as?

I think you risk a lot by putting too much emphasis on the origins of the forum. It makes it easy to launder private property into public use to avoid the First Amendment. If a public school wants to let Christians use its auditorium on Sundays but not atheists, can it just purchase a private auditorium? I don't think so. By contrast, school officials can arrange to rent a space to have a baccalaureate without having to hold ceremonies for other faiths. ISTM, the difference lies in who pays and how the space is actually used and controlled.
  #99  
Old 06-12-2017, 11:44 AM
RTFirefly RTFirefly is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Maryland
Posts: 35,867
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhythmdvl View Post
in order to read the live tweets, someone would have to repeatedly log out (and then back in to their own account).
Just to clear up this one minor point:

I don't have a Twitter account, but I can read anyone's Twitter account if I know their handle. As an example, I regularly read the Twitter feed of Josh Barro of Business Insider. If you typed the URL 'twitter.com/jbarro', then you'd see his Twitter feed too.

I did that a few minutes ago, and saw all of his recent tweets up to that moment. Since then, he's tweeted again. So now there's a banner over his most recent tweet saying "View 1 new Tweet" and the tab where I have his Twitter feed open has gone from reading "Josh Barro (@jbarro | Twitter)" to "(1) Josh Barro (@jbarro | Twitter)" (italics not in original) so that even if I don't have that tab open, I can see right away that he's got a new tweet up. If I go to that tab and click on the "View 1 new Tweet" banner, it'll show me the new tweet.

But I didn't, and he's tweeted again, so now the tab reads "(2) Josh Barro (@jbarro | Twitter)" and the banner would read "View 2 new Tweets". And so forth. So all I really have to do to make sure I don't miss a new tweet of his, is have a browser tab open to his Twitter feed, and have that tab where I can see it.

Last edited by RTFirefly; 06-12-2017 at 11:46 AM.
  #100  
Old 06-12-2017, 12:43 PM
Bricker Bricker is offline
And Full Contact Origami
SDSAB
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 56,068
Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
Have you read any of the links already provided in this thread, starting with the one in the OP?
Yes.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:30 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017