Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. FFRF.org

Trump social media case implicates state rep

Vol. 36 No. 07 September 2019

A recent judgment regarding President Trump’s use of social media has increased legal liability for a Florida state rep, who’s utilizing her social media account to promote Christianity, the Freedom From Religion Foundation is advising.

In July, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Knight First Amendment Institute v. Trump that the president’s Twitter feed is a government-run forum and that denying citizens equal access to read and post comments on his feed violated their First Amendment rights.

In light of this decision, FFRF has written to Florida state Rep. Kimberly Daniels, after a concerned constituent reported that he and several other residents were blocked from commenting on, or otherwise interacting with, the official “State Representative Kimberly Daniels” Facebook page. These bans are not arbitrary but rather the result of users expressing viewpoints critical of Daniels’ actions as a state legislator. The blocked constituents are unable to interact with others on the official page and cannot use standard Facebook features available to all other users, particularly the “following,” “liking,” and commenting functions.

While Daniels has reportedly taken the position that this Facebook page is a personal social media account, recent federal court opinions make it clear that the page is operating as a government account.

Concerned Floridians have further reported to FFRF that the account continually and pervasively promotes Christianity. Several other posts display videos of the representative proselytizing on a radio show.