As social media sites have increasingly become go-to platforms for personal and political engagement, our political leaders are turning to social media platforms to communicate with their constituents.
The ACLU of Indiana is keeping a close eye on the implications for Hoosiers’ free speech. In particular, when public officials use social media as government actors, the First Amendment prohibits them from censoring differing viewpoints.
Blocking users or deleting comments because they express critical opinions offends the Constitution and principles of transparency.
Since 2019, we have filed several cases fighting for citizens who have been blocked from public officials social media accounts such as the Monroe County Sheriff, the Knightstown police department, Representative J.D. Prescott, Boone County, the town of Kingsford Heights, and more.
So, what if public officials block you, delete your comments, or otherwise censor you on social media?
You have free speech rights when you use social media, and it’s critical that you know those rights.
Check out our guide to social media censoring to learn:
- What are your free speech rights when you use social media
- What are public officials’ obligations to you when they use social media
- How to identify whether an account is operating as a government actor
- What can you do if you’re censored by a public official on social media