The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana today filed a lawsuit against Kingsford Heights, for removing town residents from the Town Council’s official private Facebook group.  Among other things, the Town Council of Kingsford Heights uses this group to publicize information of importance to Town residents, such as proposed ordinances. 

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Michael Easley and Emily Galloway, alleges that the Council’s actions represent viewpoint-based discrimination, in violation of the First Amendment to the Unites States Constitution.  

According to the complaint, Michael Easley was removed from the Town Council’s official Facebook group after he posted a Facebook comment, in a different forum, that was critical of Town Council leadership. The second plaintiff, Emily Galloway was removed from the group by the Town Council after she asked a simple question—also in a different forum on Facebook—pertaining to a campaign-related statement. 

“The First Amendment protects people, who regardless of their views, attempt to hold the government accountable through expression,” said Gavin M. Rose, ACLU of Indiana Senior Attorney. “Kingsford Heights’ practice of silencing citizens on Facebook who are critical of the Council’s actions is unconstitutional.” 

This is one of several social media censorship cases the ACLU of Indiana has filed in recent years in an effort to stop this pattern of unconstitutional behavior.