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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter 2022

Chapter 7 The Right to Tweet Freely: Citizen- Government Social Media Conflict

From the book Volume I Contemporary Trends in Conflict and Communication

  • Malaka Friedman


This chapter explores the publicness of conflict by exploring the question of whether conflict online is a public or private matter. Using Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University vs. Trump as a case study, this chapter explores how Twitter was used by President Trump when engaging with individuals during his presidential campaign and in his presidency. President Trump blocked several individuals from his public Twitter account, effectively treating the space as a private rather than a public forum. The resulting court case and the continuing challenges to its ruling provides insights into how public citizens and political figures in power navigate conflict in online spaces, while also providing implications for future expectations of conflict communication in those spaces.

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