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U.S. Courts Are Figuring Out if the Government Can Block You On Facebook

NextGov: “In the last two years, there’s been a cascade of lawsuits in the U.S. against public officials who have blocked people on social media and deleted critical comments. The list starts with the highest one in the country, president Donald Trump, and goes all the way down to a county board chair. As officials use social platforms more and more to communicate with their constituents, bypassing traditional media channels, the question of how they treat these avenues is becoming increasingly important. In the last week, there were notable developments in three lawsuits. Two women in Maine, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, settled on Dec. 7 with the state’s governor Paul LePage; on Dec. 4, a federal judge in a case against Kentucky governor Matt Bevin ordered him to turn over screenshots of blocked users’ comments; while an appellate court in New Orleans heard arguments on Dec. 6 in a case against the sheriff’s office for Hunt County, Texas. There are two other cases currently in federal appeals courts looking at the same issue…”

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