NEW YORK – On April 24, the New York Civil Liberties Union sent Rep. Peter King a letter calling for his office to unblock the dozens of people who were banned from commenting on his Facebook page. The NYCLU provided evidence of some of more than 70 constituents who were blocked for criticizing Rep. King and indicated that the NYCLU would sue if people remained blocked.
In response to the NYCLU’s letter, Rep. King’s office created a new, official Facebook page which will not block users based on their opinions and will use his original page only for campaign purposes. The NYCLU issued the following statement from Executive Director Donna Lieberman in response to today’s announcement.
“The Supreme Court recognizes that social media platforms are perhaps the most powerful mechanisms available to private citizens in making their voice heard. Regardless of their views, constituents have a right to engage in public discourse, and all official government social media pages serve as public forums.
“While we are pleased with Rep. King’s decision to create an official Facebook page that does not block anyone, we know that this is not an issue specific to the Congressman. Many elected officials have followed in the footsteps of President Trump in blocking dissenting views expressed on Twitter and other social media platforms.
“Their actions not only infringe upon constituents’ First Amendment protections but also completely disregard the principles that our country was founded on. All government officials must allow people to share their views uncensored on government social media platforms without being silenced."