Supreme Court sets criteria for government officials blocking users on social media

The Supreme Court ruled Friday that public officials blocking users on social media only violates the First Amendment when the officials claim to be posting on the government’s behalf.

“When a government official posts about job-related topics on social media, it can be difficult to tell whether the speech is official or private,” Justice Amy Coney Barrett wrote in the opinion for Lindke v. Freed. “We hold that such speech is attributable to the State only if the official (1) possessed actual authority to speak on the State’s behalf, and (2) purported to exercise that authority when he spoke on social media.”

A similar case, O’Connor-Ratcliff v. Garnier, was sent back to the 9th Circuit for further consideration, given the Court’s new criteria.

This story is developing and will be updated.

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