Have you been blocked by a politician on social media? Did you ever question their post with facts or a counter-opinion to their bill of the day? Did you harass them with ignorant comments or ‘call them out’ with colourful metaphors? Did that lead to an eventual ‘block’ which is starting to become somewhat common towards constituents as of late?
I’ll get right to the point.
In my opinion politicians don’t have the right to block any of their constituents nor deny their ability to leave comments about a specific policy, whether those people voted for them or not.
An elected representative will always face some criticism, so they must be prepared to accept it as part of the job. In other words, having thick skin is in order! Anything less is a failure to acknowledge the importance of free expression, more so when it comes to political discussion.
Of course, the exception would be if a particular constituent is continuously, unusually belligerent or harassing. Then blocking may just be in order. An alternative is to avoid further discussion with that person. But eliciting some disagreement with any one policy should be expected.
Social media was intended to bring people together in ways we could’ve only dreamt of in the past. It offers the opportunity to connect with long-lost relatives and classmates, to open conversation with strangers and openly share best ideas with the world.
But, as luck would have it, some people are hiding in anonymity. And others with multiple accounts for trolling have somewhat ruined it for the rest of us who generally comment with civility as if we were face-to-face.