The ACLU of Mississippi on behalf of a Madison County resident sent a demand letter to State Senator Joel Carter from the Gulf Coast over banning an individual from commenting on his official Facebook page.
The incident, according to Carter, occurred when the Madison County resident, regularly and aggressively commented on Carter’s official page. Carter made the decision to ban the user on August 6 and was served with the following letter from ACLU of Mississippi’s Legal Director Joshua Tom on August 12.
Since then, Carter reinstated the user and she continued commenting on Carter’s official Facebook page as of Sunday 8/15.
This incident continues to highlight the interesting considerations about commenting on official Facebook pages. This comes on the heels of the ACLU threatening 5 other elected officials with the same practice in January. Last month, the Mississippi Department of Health stopped allowing comments on its official Facebook page to fight a “rise of misinformation” over what they deemed as “harmful and false commentary” .
We asked the ACLU of Mississippi for comment over how the situation between a State Senator banning comments from a non-constituent differed legally from a state agency disallowing comments altogether on their social media presence. As of press time, the ACLU did not respond.
We will update this story with comments from the ACLU if they become available.