Proposed bill bans NJ elected officials from blocking constituents online
If you’re going to go into politics, be prepared to get down and dirty; also be prepared for tough questions from constituents. In the age of social media, those questions can come from all directions, and the Hoboken City Council is considering preventing elected officials from blocking people on their social media accounts.
In a story on CBS 2 New York, Councilman Phil Cohen is quoted as saying, “We’ve heard complaints from constituents that certain council people have been blocking people for years and we felt like it was time to act.”
The city council will vote on a proposed bill that would say its members can’t block constituents on sites like Twitter and Facebook, no matter how negative they get. According to the news story, the action seems to be based on one council member blocking people who have questioned some of his decisions, like traveling internationally during the pandemic; the member in question, Mike DeFusco, told CBS 2 that it is all just politics and that political opponents have used the sites to post “false, personal attacks against me in an attempt to bully me and my supporters.”
Wow, social media as a political weapon; that’s a new one. Politics, especially local politics, can get so nasty, I really don’t blame politicians from blocking hateful messages, but council members in Hoboken apparently feel that it comes with the territory. The measure will be introduced at the council’s next meeting and will call for a $500 fine for violating it.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.