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Trump will have to start unblocking his critics on Twitter

President Trump doesn't have to follow his critics on Twitter, but he can't tune them out entirely.

On Tuesday, a federal appeals court decided to bar Trump — and any public official — from blocking Twitter users who "expressed views with which the official disagrees," the ruling said. The ruling upholds a lower court's earlier finding against Trump, which he had started to comply with even as his Justice Department appealed the decision, The Washington Post reports.

Justice Department lawyers had argued that Trump's @RealDonaldTrump account was for his personal use, though anytime he used it to tweet, somehow it was also official. But a lower court had decided last year that Trump's account was unilaterally a "public forum," and in a public forum, "you can't shut somebody up because you don't like what they're saying," U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald said at the time. The DOJ had declared her ruling "fundamentally misconceived," but a panel of circuit court judges still unanimously upheld it on Tuesday.

Trump had begun unblocking accounts on Twitter after the ruling last year. The case was brought by the Knight First Amendment Institute and a handful of Twitter users Trump had blocked.