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President Donald Trump is not allowed to block people on Twitter. A judge in New York said he cannot do this. He said that people in government cannot silence people who disagree with them.

The case was brought by seven people who had been blocked by President Trump. The judge said that blocking people online is against the First Amendment. The First Amendment says that people in America have free speech.

People are asking if social media is the same as talking in person. Technology is growing. This means laws need to change to match the world we live in now.

Difficult words

Block (v): Not accept or stop the movement.

Judge (n): A person who decides what is right and wrong.

Silence (v): To make someone stop talking.

Disagree (v): To think the opposite of someone else.

Social Media (n): Websites where people talk to each and share information.

Technology (n): Products made to make life easier for humans.

Activities

For listening practise, listen to the recorded article here:

British English:

American English: 

Match the Synonym!

 1. Block  A. Not agree
 2. Silence  B. Website
 3. Disagree  C. Quiet
 4. Social Media  D. New products
 5. Technology  E. Stop

True or False?

1. A judge said President Trump cannot block people online. T / F

2. The judge was from California.  T / F

3. Other government workers can block people online. T / F

4. 10 people have complained President Trump blocked them. T / F

5. The First Amendment says people can speak their mind. T / F

Unscramble the sentence!

1. is / not / President Donald Trump / to / block / people / allowed

2. judge / do / said / cannot / he / A / New York / in / this

3. by / seven people / brought / The / was / case

4. free / America / The First Amendment / speech / have / in / says / people / that

5. need / means / laws / to / change / This

Listening and Vocabulary

Listen to the article and fill in the words OR practice vocabulary and fill in the words.

British English:

American English: 

Silence Match Allowed
Asking Online Speech

President Donald Trump is not (1)_____________ to block people on Twitter. A judge in New York said he cannot do this. He said that people in government cannot (2)___________ people who disagree with them.

The case was brought by seven people who had been blocked by President Trump. The judge said that blocking people (3)____________ is against the First Amendment. The First Amendment says that people in America have free (4)___________.

People are (5)____________ if social media is the same as talking in person. Technology is growing. This means laws need to change to (6)____________ the world we live in now.

Conversation Questions

Take turns speaking with a partner or try to answer on your own:

1. Did you find this article interesting? Why or why not?
2. Did you learn anything new from this article? If so, what?
3. What do you think of this story?
4. Is talking on social media the same as in real life?
5. Should government officials be allowed to block people online?
6. Can laws created 200 years ago apply to life today?
7. How can governments and laws catch up with technology?
8. Are there free speech rules in your country?
9. To what extent should free speech be allowed?
10. Does your country have a constitution?
11. Are government officials held to account in your country?
12. Is there freedom of the press in your country? If so, has it ever been threatened?
13. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is part of a new generation of politicians in the US. Is it important for young people to be involved in politics?
14. Are young people involved in politics in your country?
15. How does freedom of speech improve a country?
16. Should age affect freedom of speech?
17. Are there situations where you watch what you say?
18. What other rights should people have?
19. Is it right for governments to censor the internet?
20. What questions would you like to ask the judges who decided this case?