ACLU claims Virginia’s congressional delegation is blocking critics on social media

RICHMOND, VA. (WRIC) — The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia is telling Virginia’s congressional delegation to stop blocking critics on their social media sites.

In a letter, the ACLU says it has gotten numerous complaints from Virginians who have been blocked by members of Congress and other public officials from both parties. They say First Amendment protections apply, calling it unconstitutional for public officials to block someone if they have opposing views.

To read the letter, click here.

8News reached out to several Virginia lawmakers who say they have not and do not block constituents based on their views. Their statements are below:

Office of Sen. Mark Warner, (D) Virginia: “Senator Warner does not block constituents from accessing his social media channels.”

Rep. Don McEachin, (D) 4th District: “I encourage and enjoy civil discourse about issues. Constituents often share lots of different points of view with me on my congressional social media accounts; some I agree with and some I do not. However, I have never blocked anyone on my congressional social media.”

Office of Rep. Dave Brat, (R) 7th District: “Constituents are free to use the comments section to express their comments or concerns. At this time, the only filtered content is that which contains spam or inappropriate language.”

Spokesperson for Rep. Bobby Scott, (D) 3rd District: “…we do not block (and have not blocked) anyone from leaving comments on the Congressman’s official social media accounts. With that said, we do have a comment policy on Facebook that does not tolerate the use of racial slurs or obscene cursing.  Fortunately, we have not needed to enforce that policy. The Congressman understands that his constituents are passionate about the issues affecting the third district and he welcomes their feedback. Whether they agree with him or not.”

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