Get subscribed to our newsletter
Get interesting updates to your email inbox.
A U.S. court ruling that it is unconstitutional for President Donald Trump to block critics on Twitter has reignited criticism of politicians who ban detractors from their social media accounts.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York ruled unanimously Tuesday that because Trump’s Twitter account is a “public forum,” he can’t block users who disagree with him. Since the earliest days of his administration, Trump has used Twitter to make on-the-fly policy, lash out at his critics and voice his opinion on virtually every subject. To many, his Twitter page has become the face of his presidency.
“The First Amendment does not permit a public official who utilizes a social media account for all manner of official purposes to exclude persons from an otherwise-open online dialogue because they expressed views with which the official disagrees,” Judge Barrington Parker wrote on behalf of the panel.
Lesson for politicians
While Parker stressed the ruling does not extend to all social media accounts operated by public officials, First Amendment advocates said the decision nonetheless serves as a lesson to politicians who block critics from “private” social media accounts that often double as communication platforms with the public. There are at least a half-dozen other lawsuits pending against U.S. politicians, from county officials to governors, who have sought to silence their critics on social media.
“We hope that as a result of this decision, public officials will take note and recognize that they need to be able to withstand criticism from their constituents,” said Carrie DeCell, a staff attorney with the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, which two years ago filed the lawsuit that led to Tuesday’s ruling.
Esha Bhandari, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, which has filed similar lawsuits against public officials, said the ruling should remind politicians that “blocking critics from an official social media account is unconstitutional.”
“Social media is the new town hall — once an official opens either up to the public, they can’t selectively exclude those whose views they disagree with,” Bhandari said.
Trump has nearly 62 million followers on Twitter. His tweets are widely shared, sometimes hundreds of thousands of times, generating both deep praise and harsh criticism — all out on a free-for-all, no-holds-barred platform.
Despite the freewheeling nature of his Twitter page, Trump, who runs the account with the help of his social media director, Dan Scavino, is known to have banned several dozen followers in recent years.
The lawsuit was brought in July 2017 on behalf of seven followers blocked by Trump and centered on whether the First Amendment applied to @realDonaldTrump Twitter account.
Government lawyers representing Trump argued in court that it did not because Trump’s account was “private” and that he used it exclusively as “a vehicle for his own speech.”
But lawyers for the plaintiffs argued that the account is for all practical purposes a “public forum” and that Trump violated the seven individuals’ First Amendment rights by banning them from his page.
Both a district court in May 2018 and the appeals court on Tuesday agreed with the plaintiffs. After the district court ruling, all seven plaintiffs were quietly unblocked from Trump’s Twitter account. In addition, the Knight Institute asked for the unblocking of 20 to 30 others who had been banned by Trump. Most of those, too, were unblocked, DeCell said.
Trump is not the only politician sued over blocking social media critics. The ACLU is suing officials in Kentucky, Maine, Maryland and Virginia on behalf of constituents who were blocked on social media. In addition, it has sent letters to politicians in Nebraska and New York to unblock users or face lawsuits.
Demanding to be unbanned
In April, the New York Civil Liberties Union sent a letter to Republican Congressman and Trump ally Peter King demanding that he “unban” dozens of constituents on Facebook.
King had argued that he had the right to block people from the “Congressman Peter King” Facebook page because it was a campaign account, and not one used for his congressional work. But the ACLU countered, “King wrapped the page in the trappings of his office and used it as a tool of governance.”
In response, King in May created a new, official Facebook page that will not ban users based on their views while continuing to use his original page for campaign purposes.
“We are pleased that the congressman agreed to launch a new Facebook page that will serve as his official government account from which he will not block users,” said Antony Gemmell, a staff attorney at the NYCLU.”Similar to [Tuesday’s] ruling on the president blocking people from his Twitter account, the congressman cannot block people from his official government Facebook page simply because he disagrees with their opinions.”
The Justice Department said it was “disappointed” with the appeals court’s decision and was “exploring possible next steps.”
“As we argued, President Trump’s decision to block users from his personal Twitter account does not violate the First Amendment,” DOJ spokesperson Kelly Laco said.
Hans von Spakovsky, a legal affairs fellow with the conservative Heritage Foundation, said the appeals court made “a very basic mistake of law and a basic factual mistake” and that the Justice Department should appeal the decision.
“The First Amendment only applies in a public forum such as a public park,” von Spakovsky said. “But Twitter is not a public forum. Twitter is a private company.” (VOA)
By Himanshu Agarwal
While smart homes are typically about connected and automated devices and appliances, making it a super convenient and comfortable living experience for residents, there is one connection that we often seem to miss when we speak of smart homes -- the inextricable connection with the indoor home environment.
After all, smart living is also about smart breathing. Unless we breathe clean and pure air even within our homes, smart living remains an incomplete aspiration. Therefore, as we pivot big time to a modern lifestyle with nearly 24/7 gadgets, utilities, and network dependency within our homes, a sense of balance with respect to the indoor ambiance must also be attained. And this balance necessarily means breathing pristine, unadulterated pure air even at homes.
Don't forget we breathe 24/7 even when living in smart homes
Of course, in this time and age when we are actively using some smart device or the other within the premises of our smart homes most of the time, the point that we are also breathing 24/7 need not be as labored. However, the question is: whether the quality of the air that we are breathing indoors is commensurate with the aspiration for this so-called quality of life and experience of living in high-class homes. In other words, even as we think we are living the 'high life' using all the fancy gadgets and increasing convenience in life, unless we breathe the right air, the desire and dream of quality living will not find true meaning.
Don't forget we breathe 24/7 even when living in smart homes. | Photo by Ale Romo Photography on Unsplash
Indoor air is worse than outdoor air
Contrary to the popular perception that the air quality in the external settings is worse than that of indoors, the reality is that indoor air is often found to be more impure and unhygienic for our health and living. This is not only because outdoor air gets natural circulation and revitalization as opposed to indoor air with a higher likelihood of getting stale by its very nature. But this is also based on solid scientific evidence. In fact, the levels of indoor air pollutants are often 2 to 5 times higher than outdoor levels and can even top the outdoor levels of the same pollutants 100 times in some cases. In these times of pandemic, it is worthwhile mentioning that even the transmission rate of the coronavirus is higher in indoor settings than outdoors.
Indoor air is often found to be more impure and unhygienic for our health and living. | Photo by Kaleidico on Unsplash
Efficient energy use reminds us of the need for efficient human energy too
Smart homes naturally mean the most efficient and optimized energy use. There is a bit of irony in the fact that while we are living in an optimized energy-based setup, we are not optimizing our own energy here if we ignore indoor air quality. Breathing is a source of energy that sustains our body with oxygen, a life force that creates nearly 90 per cent of our bodily energy. If we wish to get the best of our breathing and internal energy system and indeed make everyday life and related pursuits more fulfilling, we need to breathe clean purified air all the time. A healthy life starts with breathing healthy air.
Smart homes naturally mean most efficient and optimized energy use. | Photo by Unsplash
In a nutshell, unless we have indoor air purification -- of the smart kind or otherwise -- within our smart homes, even living in smart homes doesn't make us smart enough! (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: smart homes, energy, indoor, air, breathing, outdoor, smart, air purification
By - Jhon Richardson
People all around the world love shopping. When people go shopping for Anti social socil club hoodie they want to find the perfect pieces that fit them, look good on them, and are in season. People also know there are things you should watch for when shopping but tend to make some common mistakes during the evaluation process.
Buying clothes without trying it on
When buying separates you always need to try on each piece of clothing before purchasing it because not every color or size will look good on you. You don't want be stuck with two pieces of clothing that do not work well together or worse yet not having anything that goes well together because you didn't try on your purchases first! Not only can what you buy end up looking bad, but it can also make you feel bad about what you are wearing. So make sure to always try on your purchases to avoid this mistake.
Sweating the small stuff
When you pick out a few outfits, it's important to not get caught up in details that aren't worth getting stressed about because there are so many pieces of clothing out there and only so much money to spend on them! You don't want your outfit choice or buying decision ruined by something like whether the hem is straight or if the buttons line up perfectly when trying it on at home after purchasing it. It is easy enough to fix, but can also take away from shopping and spending time with friends and family over things that really aren't worth getting upset about in life that can be fixed easily.
Follow NewsGram on Facebook to stay updated.
Buying on impulse
There are some people who don't even try their purchases on before purchasing them and unfortunately realize after the fact that they didn't like what they bought or it doesn't fit right and now it isn't returnable and is taking up space in their closet. This is a big mistake because we live in a world where you can shop for clothing at any hour of the day from your phone, tablet, or laptop, so there is no reason to make an impulsive buying decision that you will regret later because there will always be time to find something else if it's meant to be yours!
Along row of clothes on sale Image credit: Photo by Duy Hoang on Unsplash
Shopping for others more than yourself
Some women only want to buy things from Chrome Hearts Official Store for themselves when they are shopping if it's something that isn't meant to be shared with anyone else. The worst thing you can do is go shopping just for your friends or family members. You don't want to buy clothing that the other person may not like or that doesn't look right on them just because you wanted to get them something! The three of you could be so much happier if one of you was left out and everyone got what they actually wanted.
Settling for second best
You should never settle for second best when buying something, even if it is a deal or at a discounted price because it still means someone else will get what you're looking for and another piece of clothing will end up in the wrong home where it won't be appreciated the way it deserves to be! So if you find a piece of clothing that has all the right pieces in all the right places, make sure to buy it and never settle for anything less because your wardrobe can only benefit from including things that are really worth having.
Shopping in haste
If you go shopping in a hurry due to not having much time or being rushed because someone is waiting on you then your choices will end up doing more harm than good when trying them on at home. You'll end up with clothing that doesn't fit perfectly or isn't what you wanted since you didn't have enough time to consider everything. So slow down and take your time whenever possible so there aren't any regrets later.
Failing to consider your current wardrobe
You want to avoid this mistake at all costs because it's just a waste of time, money, and energy when you know what you have is fine or that there are so many pieces in your closet that don't go together. You have to have some knowledge about the clothing you already own before getting something new. So take an inventory of what you already have so you can make informed decisions before buying anything else!
Clothes Store Interiors can often tempt unplanned buying Image credit: Clark Street Mercantile
Buying things only because they're on sale
You may be so focused on getting a discounted price for items that aren't even your style or size which will just end up sitting in your closet unworn and wasting space because it doesn't fit right or look right because it wasn't meant to be. That's why you should only buy the best, most stylish clothing that fits your personal sense of style so there is no need to rush or settle for anything less!
Focusing too much on the price tag
You may end up passing over lots of things that are great deals, but not buying them because they don't have a high enough price tag making you think they weren't worth it even though you could get other pieces in your wardrobe without spending as much money elsewhere if you were shopping with a clear mind. The price tag doesn't mean everything when searching through your options for clothing!
Not checking how something will fit before buying it
This mistake can be a huge problem, especially when buying pants and skirts because you may not be able to return them or exchange them for something that will fit properly. You can't always trust the size on the tag so it's crucial to try clothing on before buying it whenever possible!
If you avoid these mistakes, then shopping can be one of your favorite things to do instead of another chore that just makes you angry at the end of the day because you didn't find anything worth having or spent too much money on what wasn't even right for you. So take your time every single time and never rush yourself by checking out all 10 mistakes so there are no regrets later!
Knowing what not to do is just as important as knowing what to do when it comes to shopping for clothes. Hopefully, this blog post has given you some helpful pointers on how to avoid these common mistakes and find your perfect look! Let us know if we can help with anything else - our team of experts are ready and waiting.
(Disclaimer: This article is sponsored and contains some commercial links)
Keywords: Shopping, Impulse, Sale, Clothes, Mistakes