Several Facebook users sued Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and two of his aides in federal court on Tuesday for silencing them on the governor’s official Facebook page.
The blocked Facebook users, who are represented by the ACLU of Maryland, argue that Hogan “arbitrarily” censored their free speech by deleting their comments and blocking them from his Facebook page after they questioned his position on education policy and President Trump’s controversial travel ban.
It is the latest effort to test in court how much control government officials may have over what is posted on their official social media sites.
“The highest purpose of the First Amendment is to protect the right of Americans to engage in political speech and to petition the government to address their concerns,” said Deborah Jeon, legal director for the Maryland ACLU. “It violates both the First Amendment and Maryland’s own social media guidelines for government officials to block out any voices of dissent or those simply raising questions about positions taken by public officials sworn to serve.”