; Date: Wed Jul 10 2019
Following a recent Federal Court ruling that Pres. Trump cannot block folks on Twitter, a MAGA Republican running for Congress has sued Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) over being blocked from her personal Twitter account.
Two people, former state assemblyman Dov Hikind (D) and congressional candidate Joseph Saladino (running in the Republican primary for a D seat in covering Staten Island and Brooklyn) have sued Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Saladino filed suit in the Southern District of New York, while Hikind filed his claim in the state's Eastern District. Both are claiming that AOC has improperly blocked them from her personal Twitter account, under the principle named in the recent lawsuit against Pres. Trump.
In the Trump lawsuit, federal appeals court judges ruled that because Trump uses his Twitter account for official communications, he cannot block anyone from seeing the account. See Pres. Trump like other government officials cannot block twitter users from his account
Obviously Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is also using her Twitter account for official business. And just as obviously the big splash she is making in national politics makes her a target.
Why do I describe Saladino as a MAGA Republican?
Notice the MAGA hat on his head. Various tweets on this account are clearly rah-rah-rah-rah-Pro-Trump. It is exceedingly rare for New Yorkers to be pro Trump since New Yorkers have had a front row seat for decades on the illegalities committed by both Pres. Trump and his father Fred Trump.
Let's go over the proof offered by Saladino
What point is he trying to make here? Does it matter whether he lives in her district or not? Here's a couple ideas why he might have posted this:
- Folks claiming that Saladino is seeking to run against AOC next year.
- AOC's district covers parts of Bronx and Queens, while Saladino is seeking a seat currently held by a D in Staten Island and part of Brooklyn.
- Maybe some folks think he only has a real beef if AOC is his congressperson.
- The ruling describes whether a given Twitter account is used for official business, and does not discuss localities.
I am really sick of Republicans claiming to be martyrs. He's claiming that big bad Twitter is unfairly blocking Conservative voices. He's claiming that he's not going to get a fair hearing because he's a Republican.
Thing is that Republicans have been claiming to be overly censored for a couple years now, on flimsy evidence. The phrase "Shadow Banning" is often used, and it's a form of Republicans claiming to be martyrs.
- What is Shadow Banning? Banning a member such that they do not know they're banned
- Rep. McCarthy was not shadow banned, his Twitter account was misconfigured to hide postings
"Shadow Banning" is a technique where the operator of a social network or an online forum will configure the system to quietly limit how far postings from a given person will spread. Facebook or Twitter would implement this through the algorithmic selection of which postings are seen or not. An algorithmic tweak could be applied to an account making it less likely for their postings to be seen.
What these Conservatives are claiming is that Shadow Banning is used unfairly to target their voices - because obviously Twitter is a Liberal organization and so on.
The problem with that theory is that it's not hard to find Liberal outlets making similar complaints. At a Rep. Ro Khanna town hall I attended last year someone complained about Liberal voices on Twitter being downgraded.
In an attempt to determine Saladino's character, I scrolled down his Twitter feed. One common type of posting concerns Antifa counter protesters taking action against Saladino that Saladino describes as an attack.
The "Antifa" label refers to "Anti-Fascist" protesters. The Antifa crowd is supposedly prone to commit violence - e.g. "Punch a Nazi" - in the role of trying to counter folks they perceive as having Fascist tendencies. I don't know much about Antifa activities beyond that. But if Antifa protesters are routinely showing up at Saladino events, it suggests that Saladino is probably saying things that sound Fascist.
If Saladino is doing so, it's not present in his twitter feed.
You can see the MAGA hat more clearly in this picture.
There's a lot more of this sort on his Twitter feed including an email from Twitter that Twitter had to investigate his account following an accusation about Saladino's content. To which Saladino said it was only a matter of time before he is blocked from Twitter.
I think is is probably a Fake Martyr.