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University of Missouri

University of Missouri president unblocks students on Twitter after lawsuit threat

The columns at the University of Missouri.
ABC 17 News
Jesse Hall, where University of Missouri administrative offices are located, is seen behind the columns on the Francis Quadrangle.

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

University of Missouri Chancellor and UM System President Mun Choi unblocked students on Twitter after an attorney threatened a lawsuit against him Wednesday.

A spokesperson for the university, Christian Basi, said initially students were blocked when they tweeted abusive statements about President Choi.

"They were getting in the way of the feedback and good criticism that he needed, he is always open to feedback and criticism that move the university forward," he said.

Basi said there is a way to give feedback without using profanity and personal attacks.

One student, Madeline Carter, said she found out she was blocked by the chancellor after seeing other students' accounts blocked when checking her Twitter page.

Carter said Thursday morning that Choi later unblocked her account and other student accounts.

Carter initially tweeted about Mun Choi's moped and said numerous people reread the tweet to see if it was out of line.

"But again, as a university official, you shouldn’t be blocking your students, reporters, or anyone for that matter," Carter said in a tweet.

Carter said the chancellor should not be blocking concerned students for speaking out about conditions on campus.

"I’m certain that if it weren’t for the generous lawyer who stepped in to represent both me and my peers, I would still be blocked. We need to hold those in powerful positions accountable for their actions," she said.

Attorney Christopher Bennett, an MU alumnus, sent a letter to the university Wednesday saying Choi would end up in court if he did not unblock people on his Twitter account.

"To cure President Choi’s infringement upon the First Amendment, I request that President Choi immediately unblock each person he has blocked on Twitter and notify me when that has been done," Bennett said in the letter.

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Zola Crowder

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