Should politicians be allowed to block constituents? | The Tylt
Should politicians be allowed to block constituents?
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has brought a lawsuit against four Georgia government officials, demanding they stop "censoring their critics" by blocking them on social media.
“Georgia politicians need to be on notice that if they have an official government page, they can’t censor comments they don’t like,” Young said. “They should be encouraging more speech and not less. Because speech is central to our democracy, and we shouldn’t be discouraging comments critical of our government.” He added: “Politicians need to catch up to the 21st century and get with the program.”
But some officials have defended themselves, claiming they were only blocking trolls and bots, not just people with whom they disagreed with.
“Like all Twitter users, Mayor Reed has the right to stop engaging in conversations when he determines they are unproductive, intentionally inflammatory, dishonest or misleading,” a Reed aide said.
If users are being abusive, why should politicians be forced to engage with them? Then again, Mayor Reed has blocked a number of journalists and constituents for being critical of him.
Reed has built a Twitter following of more than 414,000 users — more than any other U.S. mayor, he often says, except for New York’s Bill de Blasio. He’s also aggressively blocked detractors on Twitter, including journalists, political analysts and others who have lobbed critiques about him.
After President Trump blocked Holly Figueroa O'Reilly on Twitter, she claimed he was violating her constitutional rights, and threatened to take the president to court if he didn't unblock her.
The president of the United States, the leader of the free world, has blocked me on Twitter. Did I make death threats against him? Did I use foul language or threaten his family? Of course not.
President Trump is violating my constitutional rights by blocking me on Twitter...This is what dictators and fascists do.
Elected officials forfeit the right to block individuals, and doing so is akin to kicking citizens out of a public space or town hall meeting because of their political viewpoints. Not President Trump nor any politician has the right to do that.