The lawsuits come after a court ruled Donald Trump had violated the constitution by similarly blocking constituents

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has built a national profile through social media but not everyone can see it.

The representative from New York is facing two federal lawsuits for blocking users on Twitter. It comes after and apparently only because an appeals court on Tuesday upheld a ruling that President Donald Trump had violated the constitution by blocking constituents on Twitter.

The First Amendment does not permit a public official who utilizes a social media account for all manner of official purposes to exclude persons from an otherwise-open online dialogue because they expressed views with which the official disagrees, the court ruled.

Rightwing rabble-rousers are now taking that ruling and using it to challenge Democrats such as Ocasio-Cortez. YouTuber Joey Saladino is one of the two users who filed a lawsuit against the congresswoman for blocking him. I have officially filed my lawsuit against AOC for blocking me on twitter. Trump is not allowed to block people, will the standards apply equally? he said on Twitter.

The other user filing a lawsuit against the representative told Fox News: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has blocked me on Twitter yesterday apparently because my critique of her tweets and policies have been too stinging. Both suits were filed in New York federal courts and both referenced Ocasio-Cortezs personal account, @AOC, which she uses to engage with more than 4.6 million followers.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her vocal support of Democratic socialism have become a lightning rod for rightwing politicians and pundits, online and beyond. Most recently she was attacked for her characterization of border facilities as concentration camps.

She often replies to critics publicly on her personal Twitter account, including in July 2018 when she had some choice words for the conservative pundit John Cardillo who mischaracterized her upbringing in a viral tweet.

Ocasio-Cortez did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.

Other public officials have also come under fire for blocking Twitter users. Ken Klippenstein, a reporter with the Young Turks, was recently blocked by Iowa representative Steve King after he tricked the politician into retweeting a movie screenshot as a joke, to much derision online.

Taryn Jay

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/us

 

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