• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.

AOC sued over blocking Twitter users, following appeals court ruling on Trump

Barnabot

Member
Oct 16, 2018
1,452
1,799
550
Former Democratic New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind filed a lawsuit against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. in federal court on Tuesday for blocking users on Twitter based on their personal viewpoints, following afederal appeals court ruling earlier in the day barring President Trump from doing the same.

"Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has blocked me on Twitter yesterday apparently because my critique of her tweets and policies have been too stinging," Hikind said in a statement announcing the suit, which was filed in the Eastern District of New York and obtained by Fox News.

"Just today the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a ruling that elected officials cannot block individuals from their Twitter accounts, thereby setting a precedent that Ocasio-Cortez must follow," he added. "Twitter is a public space, and all should have access to the government officials on it."

The First Amendment prohibits discrimination by government actors against a person’s free speech based on his or her viewpoints.
THE LAWSUIT

Hikind continued: "It's unclear if Ocasio-Cortez is aware of this ruling or not, but either way, I have decided, after speaking with my legal counsel, to initiate a lawsuit against her for blocking me and a host of other public figures. Ocasio-Cortez is acting cowardly and should be ashamed of her attempts to silence me. I’ve done nothing but address her ignorance and disregard for the truth. She constantly brags about the millions of followers she has but is afraid of my speech. She is a hypocrite.
There is more coming from the article:



So why is that? Because Trump couldn't do that (blocking people on Twitter) either. They've turned their personal twitter accounts into a platform to perform some sort of public speech as government employees. So everyone is supposed to be allowed to engage them.


Have fun, GAF.
 
Apr 18, 2014
2,455
1,039
655
P-Town
I think this is the right move personally. If you're a politician discussing said politics on a public platform like twitter you should not be able to block people. Don't like people criticizing your ideas? Log off.

Politicians (more specifically elected officials) should not be able to shut people out of the conversation that they create in these public spaces.
 

Cucked SoyBoy

Member
Dec 18, 2018
374
513
280
Politicians (more specifically elected officials) should not be able to shut people out of the conversation

But that's not how it works. Imagine if (for example) AOC tweets something dumb, I tweet back explaining how she's wrong, and then Lena Dunham tweets back at me telling me I'm wrong and AOC is right.

Then AOC wakes up in the morning, sees my reply and blocks me...but that doesn't stop me, Lena Dunham, and others from continuing to discuss what AOC said the previous day. So no one is being "shut out."

Also the way Twitter works is that even if you're blocked by someone, you can just log out and still see her tweets.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ConnorDuffy1977
Apr 18, 2014
2,455
1,039
655
P-Town
But that's not how it works. Imagine if (for example) AOC tweets something dumb, I tweet back explaining how she's wrong, and then Lena Dunham tweets back at me telling me I'm wrong and AOC is right.

Then AOC wakes up in the morning, sees my reply and blocks me...but that doesn't stop me, Lena Dunham, and others from continuing to discuss what AOC said the previous day. So no one is being "shut out."

Also the way Twitter works is that even if you're blocked by someone, you can just log out and still see her tweets.
Sure I get all that and you rightly called me out for not articulating myself properly. It's not about access to the conversation but about access to the elected official. When an elected official creates an account on a social media platform in order to communicate with the "people" it should be for ALL the people, not just those that follow their political views.

If they are being harassed they can report those tweets, we know twitter loves to ban people. That should be the proper course of action for elected officials with thin skin.

The last people that should be allowed to live in an echo chamber are our elected officials.
 

Cucked SoyBoy

Member
Dec 18, 2018
374
513
280
There's no human right of access to an elected official. It's not mandatory for Congress members to have town hall meetings with their constituents. If they never have town halls it may impact their re-election but oh well...

Even when the President holds a press conference, not every reporter in the country gets invited. And not every reporter in the room gets called on to ask a question.
 

Petrae

Member
Nov 19, 2006
5,781
2,001
1,265
47
West Springfield, MA
www.youtube.com
There's no human right of access to an elected official. It's not mandatory for Congress members to have town hall meetings with their constituents. If they never have town halls it may impact their re-election but oh well...

Even when the President holds a press conference, not every reporter in the country gets invited. And not every reporter in the room gets called on to ask a question.
But social media is far more public than any of those scenarios. It’s a public forum with virtually zero barrier to entry. If you choose to engage in using it, as an elected official who has a responsibility to said public... then blocking people without sufficient cause (proof of harassment for example, which should actually be handled by the security team of the social media site in question) shouldn’t be allowed.

If elected officials want to create their own, not politics-related social media accounts, fine. Set them to private and don’t talk shop. That’s not what AOC and Trump (and many other elected officials) do; they actively talk policy, platform, and other topics that directly relate to those who elected them.

I’ve got no sympathy for these people and their “privacy”, because that has nothing at all to do with what they’re doing on social media. They want an echo chamber. A place to hear the same things they think, with little to no dissent. That’s not how the political game is played.

As far as being called on to answer questions, it’s not often that politicians respond when the public reaches out to them. They’re not forced to reply, or to even read their feeds. Many accounts are run by staff anyway.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Barnabot

dragonfart28

Gab Ambassador
Jun 12, 2009
4,688
444
1,025
That's an odd court ruling.

I'm pretty sure as this develops that they will resume the option to block people.

Does this ruling take into account death threats?
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: ConnorDuffy1977

Petrae

Member
Nov 19, 2006
5,781
2,001
1,265
47
West Springfield, MA
www.youtube.com
That's an odd court ruling.

I'm pretty sure as this develops that they will resume the option to block people.

Does this ruling take into account death threats?
That’s what you report to admins and/or security as harassment, while making the conscious/smart decision not to engage accounts that make these threats.

If you’re dumb enough to make death threats toward an elected official, you’re asking to be arrested and incarcerated— which realistically should be the case for any social media moron who resorts to this kind of behavior toward any other user.
 
  • Like
Reactions: slugbahr

dragonfart28

Gab Ambassador
Jun 12, 2009
4,688
444
1,025
That’s what you report to admins and/or security as harassment, while making the conscious/smart decision not to engage accounts that make these threats.

If you’re dumb enough to make death threats toward an elected official, you’re asking to be arrested and incarcerated— which realistically should be the case for any social media moron who resorts to this kind of behavior toward any other user.
If someone made a death threat, depending on who it is, I would either pursue it or just block them.

It's not a black and white issue.

But that's obvious stuff.

My question is more about the platform being private, so they should be determining conduct in accordance with their terms of service.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: ConnorDuffy1977
Jun 26, 2018
1,799
1,179
380
42
Milwaukee, WI
If you're a politician discussing said politics on a public platform like twitter you should not be able to block people. Don't like people criticizing your ideas?
I think they should be able to block whoever they want. What if they protect their tweets. Would that be illegal too? This is getting out of hand.
 

RedVIper

Member
Jun 13, 2017
1,633
1,975
420
That's an odd court ruling.

I'm pretty sure as this develops that they will resume the option to block people.

Does this ruling take into account death threats?
Death threats are probably already against twitter rules. Not the same as blocking people for just disagreeing with you.
 

Petrae

Member
Nov 19, 2006
5,781
2,001
1,265
47
West Springfield, MA
www.youtube.com
I think they should be able to block whoever they want. What if they protect their tweets. Would that be illegal too? This is getting out of hand.
If, as an elected official, you’re choosing to use social media as a governing or legislative tool— including discussion of bills or how you’re voting on certain bills— then, yeah. No locking down accounts. No blocking.

Elected officials do not have to use social media for governmental purposes. Politicians are (stupidly) using social media to bolster their egos or to pick fights with opposing parties. Then, when they get return salvos from people they don’t like, they default to blocking to shut down dissent.

If they want more protection from dissent, then go back to hand-picked interviews, “town halls”, and press conferences.
 

pimentel1

Midas Member
Jul 22, 2018
1,251
862
655
AOC is like Trump. She tweet attacks members in her own party. The only difference is, Green Deal and erasing farting cows, she’s stupid.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Barnabot

Petrae

Member
Nov 19, 2006
5,781
2,001
1,265
47
West Springfield, MA
www.youtube.com
lol sadly people on the left will be blindsided by this. Even worse they will still be confused how it is similar.
I think that’s already happening. Democrats thought they “got” Trump on this, until they realized that their new Queen was guilty of the same bullshit. Now it’s “Whoa, Whoa, wait a minute!” damage control, where all elected officials should get to block people.

It just goes to illustrate that all politicians are terrible. They’re all guilty of doing the same shit, but only want to call out people not of their own ideology on it.
 

DKehoe

Gold Member
Jun 19, 2007
5,008
706
1,235
Makes sense, if it's an official account related to your position then politicians shouldn't be shutting people out of engaging with them.
 

Barnabot

Member
Oct 16, 2018
1,452
1,799
550
If this whole issue of politicians cant block people is mandatory, buy twitter stock.

The amount twitter dumbfuckery on political accounts will be insane.
Like the Pelosis owning a large stake in Facebook?


Ban Brazilian fart porn
dafuq
 

bucyou

Gold Member
Feb 3, 2018
1,317
1,788
550
Makes sense, if it's an official account related to your position then politicians shouldn't be shutting people out of engaging with them.
What about Trump who tweets from his personal account which was established and used years before he became President? Or do we consider his @realdonaldtrump account to be the de facto presidential account since he uses it for political reasons?
 
Apr 18, 2014
2,455
1,039
655
P-Town
There's no human right of access to an elected official. It's not mandatory for Congress members to have town hall meetings with their constituents. If they never have town halls it may impact their re-election but oh well...

Even when the President holds a press conference, not every reporter in the country gets invited. And not every reporter in the room gets called on to ask a question.
Any American citizen can call, email and even attempt to schedule appointments with their elected official already; its how it was done before social media. This would be like these officials blocking certain constituents from emailing them or calling them simply because they didn't like their opinion.

I don't think the press conference comparison is apt because your average citizen can't go to those. Twitter and social media in general are completely different and anybody can join.

What about Trump who tweets from his personal account which was established and used years before he became President? Or do we consider his @realdonaldtrump account to be the de facto presidential account since he uses it for political reasons?
This is a good question. I don't think the account matters as much as how it is used. If he is using it as a mouthpiece of the office of the president (as he is) then it shouldn't matter if it was his personal account prior to his election. After he is done serving he can go back to blocking people as often as he'd like. This is of course all my opinion since we're just now starting to explore the legal side if this but ethically I think this is how it should be.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: bucyou and Petrae

DKehoe

Gold Member
Jun 19, 2007
5,008
706
1,235
What about Trump who tweets from his personal account which was established and used years before he became President? Or do we consider his @realdonaldtrump account to be the de facto presidential account since he uses it for political reasons?
I guess once a politician starts using it for political reasons then it should fall under that category? It's probably hard to define that exactly though. Overall it's an interesting idea to consider though and I'm still not sure exactly where I fall on it since maybe there's factors I'm not considering.
 
Last edited:
Apr 18, 2014
2,455
1,039
655
P-Town
I think they should be able to block whoever they want. What if they protect their tweets. Would that be illegal too? This is getting out of hand.
In regards to protecting their tweets, I'd say no as well IF they are using it to discuss actual policy and things like that. I also think that if they want to setup a private account to discuss things unrelated to their role in government they can do so and block whomever they choose.

Now I have no idea how the government and these platforms would handle such a law. Sadly it would probably require a new government entity to monitor the social media activity of these officials and I can't support that. My solution would be to ban elected officials from using these platforms to avoid the costly oversight it would require.

Honestly I feel like I am taking myself down a rabbit hole that I don't know how to get out of. The sheer amount of oversight needed to ensure they aren't abusing their social media tools would probably be ridiculous.

Another way to avoid government oversight would be if Twitter were ordered to disable the block and private features of any account that is a verified account of a public official.

At the end of the day I am not sure why I care so much other than believing that communicating with your elected officials IS a right that an American citizen has and if an elected official wants the privilege of social media on order to better communicate with said citizens they can't pick and choose who listens and participates. /endrunonsentence
 

spandexmonkey

Gold Member
Dec 17, 2009
1,788
574
910
Memphis, TN
I think this is the right move personally. If you're a politician discussing said politics on a public platform like twitter you should not be able to block people. Don't like people criticizing your ideas? Log off.

Politicians (more specifically elected officials) should not be able to shut people out of the conversation that they create in these public spaces.
Twitter is not a public platform. This could come with some other repercussions.

If someone is using Twitter for official government business and it's a violation of the 1st amendment to restrict the public's ability to engage with them, is it okay for Twitter to ban users?

If it's not okay for Twitter to block users, does that mean when a public official uses social media in official capacity the site effectively becomes public property?

If it is okay for Twitter to block users, does that mean it's okay for private entities to gate keep access to public officials? If your mayor is speaking at a venue can the property owner prevent you from attending based on ideological grounds?
 
Apr 18, 2014
2,455
1,039
655
P-Town
Twitter is not a public platform. This could come with some other repercussions.

If someone is using Twitter for official government business and it's a violation of the 1st amendment to restrict the public's ability to engage with them, is it okay for Twitter to ban users?

If it's not okay for Twitter to block users, does that mean when a public official uses social media in official capacity the site effectively becomes public property?

If it is okay for Twitter to block users, does that mean it's okay for private entities to gate keep access to public officials? If your mayor is speaking at a venue can the property owner prevent you from attending based on ideological grounds?
While it is not a public platform perse it is available to anybody that wants to join. There are so many things to consider when looking at how to handle this situation but at the end of the day I believe 1 of 2 things needs to happen.

1. Elected officials could have a unique type of account that restricts blocking and private conversations in general. Basically a stripped down version of twitter they can use to communicate whatever they'd like but without the ability to block or make it private.

2. Ban elected officials form social media use altogether and stick with traditional means of communication.

I am getting old so maybe insert oldmanyellingatclouds.gif here but I'd prefer it if we just banned elected officials from using these platforms at all. Problem solved.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Torrent of Pork

The Pleasure

Member
Jan 8, 2019
266
251
305
Like the Pelosis owning a large stake in Facebook?



dafuq
AOC wants to ban cows and their deadly methane farts. We need to ban Brazilian Fart Porn too. They're harming the O-Zone layer too by causing dirty boy waste.
 
  • Like
Reactions: slugbahr

DeepEnigma

Gold Member
Dec 3, 2013
22,299
20,068
1,045
Insisting a website is public space is pretty dumb.
If Twitter allows users to block people, anybody should be able to use that feature, regardless of their affiliation with the general population.
If the website is public space, then they shouldn’t be allowed to deplatform.

It all comes full circle. Utility rights.
 
Last edited: