President Donald Trump has been quietly unblocking more of his critics on Twitter following a court ruling that declared the act unconstitutional.
Trump’s account stopped blocking at least 30 different accounts, which were quick to report the change starting on Tuesday. A number of journalists, video producers, self-described activists and a special assistant to President Obama were among those affected.
“If these individuals were blocked on the basis of their viewpoints, it’s incumbent on the White House to unblock them immediately,” tweeted the Knight First Amendment Institute, which said it’ll continue to work with Justice Department officials to restore access to Trump’s Twitter account.
‘They Better Be Careful’
The controversy comes as the president has been attacking internet companies over what he says is censorship. On Tuesday, Trump accused Google of suppressing conservative news outlets from its search results. At a later press conference, he said the same about Twitter and Facebook.
“They better be careful, because you can’t do that to people,” Trump said. “We have literally thousands and thousands of complaint coming in.”
Google denied any wrongdoing; “we don’t bias our results toward any political ideology,” it said.
Today, Trump complained about losing followers on his social media platforms. “You lose people and you say, where did they go, they get taken off,” he said.
Trump has not provided clarity on either point. But his attacks come after Google and Facebook banned conservative web show host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from their platforms.
Next week, the heads of Google, Facebook and Twitter are set to testify before a Senate committee on preventing “foreign influence operations” over social media platforms. However, Trump’s accusations about suppressing conservative viewpoints will likely be a topic of discussion.