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News Posted on November 23, 2016

Professor Joh Writes on Trump and Twitter for New York Times

Professor Elizabeth Joh has published an entry in "Room for Debate," a feature of the New York Times website, concerning president-elect Donald Trump’s use of his Twitter account and whether, as president, he should be able to block individuals—including journalists that don’t meet his approval—from following him. 

“Surprisingly, the question doesn’t have an easy legal answer, but the best policy answer is no,” writes Joh. Twitter isn’t considered a public forum regulated by the First Amendment, and even if Trump’s tweets are considered government speech, the government does have rights to control that speech, “so blocking followers may be permissible,” she said. 

Still, the right choice for Trump would be to refrain from blocking people. “Twitter and other social media platforms are part of the new normal, a shared reality that demands new best practices about press freedom and good governance,” she writes.

Professor Joh's scholarship focuses on criminal procedure and policing, with a special emphasis on DNA evidence, undercover policing, and new surveillance technologies.