There is a case before the Supreme Court regarding the right of public officials to block accounts that are commenting on posts.
Social media accounts that were for school board members in California and Michigan had banned some followers after they left critical comments.
High-profile personalities, such as Taylor Swift and Donald Trump, were used in the arguments.
Power of Social Media
Most local, state, and federal government agencies all now use social media for making announcements, but do they have the right to block accounts critical of statements made by these entities?
The argument is whether the blocking is considered a “state action” or not.
Justice Kagan stated, "I mean, sometimes he [Trump] was announcing policies.
"Even when he wasn’t, I mean, I don’t think a citizen would be able to really understand the Trump presidency, if you will, without any access to all the things that the president said on that account."
Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson added, "What if we have a big concert, Taylor Swift has a big concert in a private ... park or something, and the police recognize there are going to be large crowds, etc., and so they come and they help with the screening of the bags and they kick out people who are rowdy and they are controlling access to this area of the private area of this. Because it's private, we would say that's not state action?"
The court will have to make a firm ruling to unblur the line between actions taken that are personal and those that would be required by a government official.
Gary Lawkowski, a lawyer with Dhillon Law Group, stated, "Several justices seem interested in having a clearer legal standard, but the devil will be in the details of how the court ultimately writes its opinion and what the consequences are going forward for public officials on social media.”
It is rather ironic that the biggest arguments we have had in regard to free speech in this country are now centered around social media, platforms that were all created to allow people to express themselves more.