Dov Hikind, former New York state assemblyman, and prominent voice for pro-Israel Americans, was recently blocked on Twitter by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Apparently Cortez did not like some of his comments. A Brooklyn judge says that she must face the music.
The First Amendment prohibits a public official who uses a social media account for government purposes from excluding people from an “open online dialogue” because they say things that the official does not agree with.
According to the NYPost
An aide to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Thursday said the freshman congresswoman blocks people on Twitter if their input isn’t “constructive” — but a federal judge demanded that she come and explain that herself.
Campaign manager Rebecca Rodriguez laid out Ocasio-Cortez’s online habits as part of a hearing in a lawsuit filed by former Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who claims the Democratic darling wrongfully blocked him online over his “criticism” of her.
Hikind, a longtime Jewish leader, is among more than 20 people Ocasio-Cortez has muted online, a decision she makes “if she feels the posts start reaching a point where it’s not constructive, where it’s an attack and where the person becomes so polarizing that she cannot have a conversation with them and they’re amplifying their platform,” explained Rodriguez.
She added that it was Ocasio-Cortez’s “judgment call” to block Hikind but said she did not know the exact reason behind the decision.
But Brooklyn federal Judge Frederic Block wants to hear directly from the prolific tweeter herself.
“I think she has to testify,” the judge said. “Her point is that this was an A-OK thing to do … she has to explain.”
Hikind said he was blocked by Ocasio-Cortez after he tweeted at her about her controversial comments in June comparing migrant centers at the border to concentration camps.
“That comment from her, I found so incredibly outrageous,” Hikind, who is also a Democrat, said at the hearing.
“I was shut out basically from having a conversation,” he said after he was blocked.
He later told reporters, “AOC may have not liked what I said but I think it was so incredibly cowardly for AOC to have blocked me.”
Ocasio-Cortez has previously said she blocks people on Twitter “for harassment, not for political views.”