Social Media, Can or Should Politicians Block Citizens?
People can be vicious to each other online. They can be even more vicious to those who have decided to run for or have been elected to office. Having a heated debate I have no issue with. Personal attacks are wrong. I have had personal experience in this example. To solve the problem of someone who is attacking you personally is easy. “Block”
In Ottawa, Mayor Jim Watson is being taken to court by three residence for blocking them on his Twitter account. They are arguing that by blocking them from his Twitter account he is violating the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This is not a frivolous case. Presidence will be decided here.
Watson states that this is his personal Twitter account and he has the right to block whoever he likes. Problem being, Watson’s Twitter account may have become a public information channel because he tweets out city information using this account. If it is deemed to be the case by the courts, he has no more right to block citizens from that sphere than he does in any other realm.
This creates all kinds of other problems. When I worked to get the causeway cleaned up, I used social media to spread my message. Some others also chimed in with racial comments. I deleted those comments. I did not want to go down that route. If I was an elected official was I violating the Charter of Rights and Freedoms of others?
Blocking is not the only option in Twitter to silence some. You can “mute”. If you mute someone they can still follow you, see what you are posting but you can’t see their Tweets. Will that also be a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms?
In real estate I know that our regulating body, RECO is working to update rules and regulations for Realtors®. Problem being by the time they update all these rules, social media will have changed and the Act will be outdated by the time it is released. This could be the same in this case.
I found this case interesting. I will be watching to see the outcome.
Reminder of a couple of Local Events
Halloween Dance in support of Ennismore Heritage Artspace. All profits go towards keeping the Hall Running. This is happening 8 P.M. at the Hall (507 Ennis Rd)
Great Ham Feast: Bridgenorth United Church will have a dinner from 4:30 P.M. to 6:30 P.M. at the church located at 832 Charles St in Bridgenorth. It will be a home style ham dinner. $15 per adult, $7 for children (under 4 eat for free)