Lawyer threatens lawsuit over MU chancellor’s Twitter blocking

Lawyer threatens lawsuit over MU chancellor's Twitter blocking



An attorney asked the University of Missouri chancellor to unblock people on his Twitter account or potentially end up in court.

A letter sent by Christopher Bennett to university leadership calls for MU Chancellor and UM System President Mun Choi to reverse his blocking of several Twitter accounts that came to light Wednesday online. Bennett claims that Choi’s account should be considered “government-controlled property,” making it unlawful for him to block people based on the First Amendment.

Several students pointed out that the chancellor had blocked them Wednesday. One of them was MU junior Cannon Summers, who said he tweeted at Choi about sinks not working in school bathrooms. Summers then tweeted a picture of Choi’s account, which shows that he blocked Summers.

Bennett is a practicing attorney in Texas, but graduated from MU in 2005. He said his clients wished to remain anonymous “to avoid further retribution.” Bennett said Choi has used his Twitter account to share official MU business, making it a government forum.

“Not only is it immoral and repugnant for President Choi to block students and other persons on social media who are trying to raise awareness of campus safety issues in the middle of a global pandemic, it is also unlawful,” Bennett said.

An MU spokesperson said they would not have a comment on Bennett’s letter on Wednesday night.

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