See our Deep Dive on Can Elected Officials Block Critics On Their Social Media Pages?
July 27: Court Rules that a Politician Who Blocked a Critic on Facebook Violated the First AmendmentFortune
July 28, 2017: Judge Says that Public Official’s Facebook Site was a Public Forum, So She Could Not Block Social Media Users Because of Their CriticismSlate>
Davison v. Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, July 25, 2017
The judge found that the county commissioner’s Facebook page was an official site, not a personal one. As a public forum, he said, the site had to be open to all viewpoints. “If the Supreme Court’s First Amendment jurisprudence makes anything clear, it is that speech may not be disfavored by the government simply because it offends…. Defendant’s offense at Plaintiff’s views was therefore an illegitimate basis for her actions — particularly given that Plaintiff earned Defendant’s ire by criticizing the County government. Indeed, the suppression of critical commentary regarding elected officials is the quintessential form of viewpoint discrimination against which the First Amendment guards.”Justia