On Oct. 4, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY.) unblocked former New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind on Twitter, and apologized for her actions, claiming that Hikind had a First Amendment right to publicly express his opinions.
The apology came as a part of a reached settlement deal, after Hikind filed a lawsuit against the Congresswoman, arguing that she violated his First Amendment rights by blocking him.
AOC’s practice: In August, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that she has less than 20 accounts blocked for “ongoing harassment.”
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1. I have 5.2 million followers. Less than 20 accounts are blocked for ongoing harassment. 0 are my constituents.
2. Harassment is not a viewpoint. Some accounts, like the Daily Caller, posted fake nude photos of me & abused my comments to spread it. No one is entitled to abuse. https://t.co/0QWKqJFzRe
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 29, 2019
Other accounts: According to The New York Post however, several other Twitter accounts have remained on Ocasio-Cortez’s block list, unable to see or interact with her posts.
“I reached out to … her former chief of staff Saikat [Chakrabarti] asking to be unblocked and I never heard back,” said former journalist Harry Cherry.
“The First Amendment of the United States requires it,” said Rep. Niraj Antani, who is also blocked.
Ryan Saavedra, a reporter for the Daily Wire, said the Congresswoman blocked him after he posted a video of her using an accent while speaking at Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, in front of “an African-American audience.”
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One America News host Liz Wheeler said Ocasio-Cortez blocked her in July, after she criticized the Congresswoman for voting against a bill that would have donated $4.5 billion in aid to migrants detained at the U.S. border.
“I would challenge her to show me the harassment,” Wheeler said, adding that her criticism was strictly policy-based.
Students For Trump, a pro-Trump Twitter account, are also blocked by Ocasio-Cortez.
— Students For Trump (@TrumpStudents) November 11, 2019
She also blocked The Daily Caller on Twitter, after they made a joke about “Communist cow farts” and the Green New Deal.
Communist cow farts were a part of your Green New Deal, though. pic.twitter.com/M5pweWEgpg
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) May 29, 2019
“I honestly don’t think that elected officials should be able to block people on Twitter if they’re going to use it to disseminate information,” said Daily Caller editor-in-chief Geoffrey Ingersoll.
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In August, the Knight First Amendment Institute of Columbia University sent a letter to Ocasio-Cortez, urging her to unblock those who want to follow her @AOC account and referring to her actions as “unconstitutional.”
(Image courtesy of nrkbeta)