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Blocked on Twitter by Trump: I sued the president and won

MERCER ISLAND, Wash. -- When you don't like what someone says on social media, sometimes you block them. But what happens when you're blocked by the president of the United States?

A Mercer Island resident sued President Donald Trump for violating her right to free speech. She won.

About a year ago, Holly Figueroa O'Reilly replied to a @realDonaldTrump tweet with a GIF of the Pope rolling his eyes at the president. The next thing she knew, she was blocked from accessing his Twitter account.

"That's how thin-skinned this man is," Figueroa O'Reilly said. "When I realized that he blocked me, I just laughed because I couldn't believe it. And then I started to think that this isn't really OK."

Figueroa O'Reilly was far from alone. Countless other U.S. citizens have seen that same Twitter statement that the president is blocking them.

The Knight First Amendment Institute and seven Twitter users, including Figueroa O'Reilly, decided to sue.

"To sue him is one thing, but to have won and then made the president of the United States capitulate, something that he doesn't ever do, is doubly surreal," she said.

A U.S. District Court ruled that President Trump's personal Twitter account is now a public forum, a place for Twitter users to freely engage with his statements.

The White House is appealing the ruling. It'll have to explain statements like this, from June 6, 2017.

"Are President Trump's tweets considered official White House statements?" a reporter asked then-Press Secretary Sean Spicer during a briefing.

"The president is the president of the United States so they're considered official statements by the president of the United States," Spicer replied at the podium.

For Figueroa O'Reilly, this is a First Amendment issue and a message to other elected leaders to think twice before blocking constituents.

Since the lawsuit, she once again has access to the president.

"I troll the president, I guess you could say, because I reply to his tweets," she said.

As a Trump resister, online she gets quite a bit of love and hate.

"I will talk ideas with anyone," she said. "I will not insult anyone and I will not allow anyone to insult me. I'll just block them."

But she's not the president.

While the plaintiffs of this lawsuit have been unblocked, there are still Twitter users that are blocked by the president.

The Knight First Amendment Institute says it should go without saying this court ruling means the president needs to unblock everyone.

The White House is appealing that ruling, maintaining the president's Twitter account is not a public forum.