Backlash After AOC Blocks Conservative Journalist on Twitter

Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is known for her “Twitter savvy” reputation, but when confronted by OANN journalist Liz Wheeler recently, the freshman lawmaker merely blocked her account.

Ocasio-Cortez reportedly blocked Wheeler in response to having been called out over her vote against providing funding for humanitarian relief at the US-Mexico border.

Wheeler noted that, by blocking her on social media, Ocasio-Cortez prevented her own liberal fans and followers from seeing outside information, essentially creating an echo-chamber of her own radical ideas.

Interestingly, many social media users pointed out that a judge recently ruled public officials could not block accounts.

Per Governing, politicians often claim that their social media accounts are personal, not public property. But public officials also use these same accounts to conduct official business or make announcements.

Some politicians argue that they’re simply clamping down on trolls who use offensive language. “Their level of discourse sunk to a level that even as an elected official I felt I shouldn’t have to tolerate,” David Lim, a former mayor of San Mateo, Calif., told the San Francisco Chronicle. “If you walk into my office and start yelling at me, I can walk out of the office.”

But public officials can’t block people preemptively from their offices. In effect, by blocking them on social media, that’s what they’re doing. “The internet, particularly social media, is where so much of our public discourse is happening these days,” says Thomas Kadri, a resident fellow at the Yale Information Society Project.