Ocasio-Cortez Learns the Road Goes Both Ways

Ocasio-Cortez Learns the Road Goes Both Ways

Ocasio-Cortez Learns the Road Goes Both Ways

From almost the moment she first burst onto the political stage, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez has been a media darling. Her use of social media has made her both a household name and, more often than not, a laughing stock. But it has been her screeching criticism of all things Trump (and now Pelosi) that continues to fuel her social media posts. So how is she going to react to having the same standards she’s demanded for the President applied to her?

Let’s face it, there’s probably not a politician other than AOC who comes close to loving Twitter as much as Donald Trump. We’ve seen her do everything from cooking to campaigning on Twitter. She out-social-medias even Beto. If you look at her blue check Twitter account, you’ll see it is very clearly an account she uses for not only personal but for “professional” purposes. And that is the crux of the latest troubles facing the freshman Congresswoman.

Dov Hikind, a former Democratic New York Assemblyman, filed suit against the Occasional-Cortex yesterday. The issue behind the lawsuit? AOC’s blocking of Twitter followers “based on their personal viewpoints.”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has blocked me on Twitter yesterday apparently because my critique of her tweets and policies have been too stinging. . . Just today the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a ruling that elected officials cannot block individuals from their Twitter accounts, thereby setting a precedent that Ocasio-Cortez must follow. . . Twitter is a public space, and all should have access to the government officials on it.”

That appellate ruling Hikind refers to in his filing is the decision handed down by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday. In its decision, the court wrote:

We do conclude,” the opinion said, “that 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.”

In other words, if President Trump can’t block people from commenting on his Twitter feed, a feed he uses for official purposes, neither can AOC or any other politician.

Hikind isn’t the only New Yorker to sue the freshman congresswoman for blocking Twitter followers. Joseph Saladino (R), a candidate hoping to win the Republican primary so he can stand against Rep. Max Rose (D), also announced he has filed suit against AOC.

How will the liberals respond to this sudden turn of events? One thing is for sure, I doubt they expected to find themselves faced with lawsuits quite so quickly. The other thing you can put your money on is their attorneys will argue that any lawsuit filed as a result of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling should be continued until any future appeals of Trump’s case are decided. The rats will scramble and the cockroaches will run for the shadows. They will use the time to set up secondary social media accounts and make sure their staffs note those who had been banned from their “official” accounts. Why? So they can preemptively ban them from any secondary accounts they set up.

The 2nd Circuit’s ruling reaches further than just Twitter accounts, although that is where the dust-up for Trump began. The opinion makes it clear that the court’s decision applies to all social media accounts that “communicate with the public about his administration, and his account is open to the public for people to comment on his posts, it warrants constitutional free speech protection under the First Amendment.”

The real question is how the various social media platforms will respond to the decision, especially if it is upheld on appeal. Will we see Facebook and Twitter introducing their own additional terms of service that limit the rights of users to comment on politician’s posts? It certainly isn’t beyond expectation. After all, while Zuckerberg has admitted FB banned pro-life ads from America during the Irish elections. Mustn’t have any evil foreign interference.

How big of a leap is it to believe he’d decide that negative comments on a politician’s page equaled harassment or something equally hard to defend against? How long until his company starts using this sort of logic to further throttle conservative and libertarian voices?

As Saladino said in his Tweet, “Trump is not allowed to block people, will the standards apply equally.”

That is the question the courts will have to decide and you can bet your last dollar the liberals will do all they can to delay the decision until Trump is either out of office or they have set up secondary accounts and the powers-that-be behind social media platforms have put in place “protections” that will allow them to continue to silence their critics.

And that is what they want. They want to silence the opposition. Unfortunately, they already have a leg up on many social platforms, Facebook being one of them and Twitter another. Whether the two platforms admit it or not, the fact so many conservative voices have been shadow banned or outright banned speaks volumes.

As for AOC, if you look at her personal account, there is no doubt she uses it to promote her political “job” and her stance on the issues. The pinned post at the top of the page is about climate change and the New Green Deal. Her next tweet (at the time I wrote this post) claims ICE and DHS are violating Congressional orders, “just as we said they would.”

How are these not political posts made by a political office holder on a public account? I’m not a “follower” of her account. That means these posts are public. Anyone want to take a bet about what would happen if I commented, telling her she was an idiot for her stance and that perhaps the money she wants to spend on making those entering our country illegally more comfortable could be better spent on things like our own homeless or on the needs of our military vets and their families?

As Saladino said, only time will tell when it comes to seeing if the courts apply the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling equally across the board. Until then, expect to see a lot of bobbing and weaving from Ocasio-Cortez and her ilk as they try to avoid the upcoming lawsuits and continue with social media business as usual, all the while demanding Trump stop being a meanie and unblock all those poor, righteous souls who dared question his administration.

And here’s hoping to them getting a healthy dose of their own medicine. It’s time they learned that all actions have consequences and that turnabout is fair play, something the lawsuits may do.

Welcome, Instapundit readers!

Featured Image: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Caricature by DonkeyHotey. Creative Commons 2.0 license.

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6 Comments
  • Charles N. Steele says:

    IMO the problem with blocks and bans is that they haven’t gone far enough. If every single FB and Twit user were completely blocked and banned, it would solve most of the problems. I might even consider signing up for them at that point.

  • GWB says:

    I don’t see how the court ruling can be upheld in the long run. They erred because it’s his personal account, the people were blocked not for their opinions but for their statements (that is, for being slanderous or inappropriate*), and it will bring about a classic “tragedy of the commons”.

    The first bit would be a taking, as well as demanding that every president give up every bit of personal life. (I wonder if Trump has a FB account?) “Sorry, sir, but you’ll have to give up your personal phone, your personal social media accounts, your personal information, and your personal property. We’ll put them in this manila envelope and you can have them back at the end of your presidency. Oh, and we’ll need you to take out your shoe laces….”

    The second error will be problematic. If Trump can’t block them, then neither can Twitter. If he has to allow nasty invective on his timeline, then Twitter itself must allow it, as the first defense of any Twit is to block the offending person. If that’s the first defense, then the second certainly can’t be allowed (imagine the hue and cry if Trump demanded Twitter censor those people!), and therefore Twitter can’t block anyone for the same reasons.

    The third is… well, see the last paragraph. The court basically said no one now actually owns/controls that account, it belongs to ALL of us. Twitter will become (I know, I know) the social media equivalent of a downtown San Francisco street.

    But, yes, in the meantime, I hope the ignorati like AOC have to suffer.

    (Anyone want to guess if there’s a connection between this decision and the one to force them to give Acosta’s press pass back?)

  • […] Victory Girls:                    Ocasio-Cortez Learns the Road Goes Both Ways […]

  • SDN says:

    “The 2nd Circuit’s ruling reaches further than just Twitter accounts, although that is where the dust-up for Trump began. The opinion makes it clear that the court’s decision applies to all social media accounts that “communicate with the public about his administration, and his account is open to the public for people to comment on his posts, it warrants constitutional free speech protection under the First Amendment.”

    The real question is how the various social media platforms will respond to the decision, especially if it is upheld on appeal.”

    The question is how far this can be pushed. After all, if Twitter removes my account, aren’t they violating my First Amendment right, as defined by this ruling, to access this politician’s communications on Twitter?

    • B Smith says:

      You ask: “How will the liberals respond to this sudden turn of events?”

      Simple. They will just ask Twitter to remove the people they want blocked from their platform. AOC may not be allowed to block people but Twitter is now a tool of the Democrats and the people who manage it can block whomever they want.

  • TMLutas says:

    Addressing AOC’s tweet, I think it’s important to note her uncharacteristically bold stand in favor of overcrowding detainees and maintaining inadequate facilities.

    While Congress has the right to do such things, it is shameful.

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