Can Your Elected Official Block You on Twitter Or Facebook? New Texas Case May Provide an Answer

Updated on July 9 to include an appeals court's ruling that President Trump can not block critics on Twitter. AUSTIN — Can your elected official block you on Twitter? Or Facebook? As politicians move more of the public discourse online, allowing them to relay their message directly to supporters and avoid media and opponents’ scrutiny, federal courts are beginning to see an increase in First Amendment claims from critics who were shut out on social media by their elected officials. The results of these lawsuits are barely starting to trickle in, with some beginning to set legal precedents and others ending in settlements, but all are being handled on a case-by-case basis. “Courts have just started dealing with these kinds of cases,” said Lyrissa Lidsky, the dean of the University of Missouri Law School and a prominent First Amendment scholar. “It’s really arisen as public officials have seen how powerful social media is for connecting with their constituents.”   Continue reading...

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