One rule for thee, and another for me — that’s what Democrat Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez seems to want when it comes to social media.
Liberals threw a fit when President Donald Trump began blocking people on the social giant Twitter, claiming that this violated their free speech rights. A judge agreed, but now AOC is acting as if that ruling doesn’t apply to her.
The New York representative is asking a court to throw out a lawsuit from a fellow New York politician, after she blocked him on Twitter. Pointing to the recent ruling involving the president, former assemblyman Dov Hikind alleges that Ocasio-Cortez shouldn’t be able to block citizens online.
“Hikind sued Ocasio-Cortez last month in Brooklyn federal court, claiming the Democratic darling blocked him on Twitter because of his ‘criticism’ of her,” the New York Post reported.
“He claimed the move was in violation of his First Amendment rights, citing a recent ruling by a federal appeals court in New York that found President Trump’s practice of blocking critics on Twitter was unconstitutional,” the newspaper continued.
Interestingly, Dov Hikind is a Democrat, though he has frequently taken moderate or conservative stances on many issues. He has been particularly passionate about pro-Jewish issues, which often puts him at odds with “the squad” of young congresswomen including AOC.
Attorneys representing Ocasio-Cortez admit that she blocked Hikind, but said he “lacks standing to bring the action” because papers were allegedly improperly served to the congresswoman.
But Hikind isn’t backing down.
“After acknowledging that she blocked me to disable my commenting without citing an offensive comment, it’s clear to me that Ms. Ocasio-Cortez is a coward,” he said. “With millions of followers, why is she still so afraid of what I have to say?”
The court ruling cited by Hikind took place in July. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declared that public officials blocking users on social media violates free speech, though there is still much debate on this issue.
“The government is not permitted to ‘amplify’ favored speech by banning or burdening viewpoints with which it disagrees,” the court said, according to The Associated Press.
Part of the controversy centers on the fact that Trump began tweeting from his current “@realDonaldTrump” account back in 2009, years before he became president. He has millions of followers, but this username is separate from the official presidential account, a point that his attorneys raised.
But the court didn’t accept that argument, saying that the account was clearly now being used as an official platform regardless of when it was launched.
“We also conclude that once the President has chosen a platform and opened up its interactive space to millions of users and participants, he may not selectively exclude those whose views he disagrees with,” judges said.
It certainly looks like AOC “selectively excluded” Hikind, though it will be up to a judge to weigh the evidence.
What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, as they say. If liberals such as Ocasio-Cortez want to be taken seriously, they need to acknowledge that the ruling on Trump’s Twitter applies to other elected officials as well.
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