The President’s favorite social media platform is suing his administration. This all comes following the Department of Homeland Security demand that Twitter reveals the identity of an account that has been critical of the Trump administration.
The account @ALT_USCIS claimed it was being run by federal employees at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. According to BBC news, the administration requested the accounts information on Thursday, to which Twitter has requested a court block it, calling it a matter of free speech.
“The rights of free speech afforded Twitter’s users and Twitter itself under the First Amendment of the US Constitution include a right to disseminate such anonymous or pseudonymous political speech,” the company argued.
The account, created in January, has not held back its attacks against the President, but its descriptions state its views are not the views of DHS or USCIS. Regardless, @ALT_USCIS has seen its follower count skyrocket since the incident, going from 32,000 to 111,000 followers in a matter of hours.
Most of the accounts tweets, while aggressive, have been fact oriented – or in Trump’s words Alternative Facts – and seem to be motivated by the gagging of the official National Parks Service.
Fact: more than 40% of illegal aliens in the US are Visa overstays from other developed countries not sounding like MEXICO. #TheResistance
— ALT? Immigration (@ALT_uscis) January 27, 2017
According to press reports at the time, President Trump himself called the head of the National Parks Service to complain. This prompted a former employee of the National Park in South Dakota to tweet fact in relation to climate change, another controversial policy in which Trump, leading way to similar accounts like @ALT_USCIS.
The American Civil Liberties Union, which represents the user in the case, expressed concern in regards to the situations effects on free speech. “To unmask an anonymous speaker online, the government must have a strong justification,” ACLU attorney Nathan Freed Wessler stated, “But in this case the government has given no reason at all, leading to concerns that it is simply trying to stifle dissent.”
ACLU said it plans to make its own filing in the court on behalf of the user in the next few days.