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Information for Those of Us Blocked By Various TSA Social Media Accounts

Information for Those of Us Blocked By Various TSA Social Media Accounts

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Old May 24, 18, 8:48 am
  #16  
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Originally Posted by FliesWay2Much View Post
This ruling is from a different federal judge than the one who made a similar ruling in Davison v Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. In both cases, the public official was using a personal social media account as a communication tool for their official elected duties. The fact that Trump used Twitter directly relates to the TSA's use of Twitter for AskTSA and TSAMedia_LisaF.
Serious question since I honestly don't know the answer. Is there any such thing as a none personal twitter account?

If government is using twitter to communicate with the public and twitter is not a government provided service aren't all accounts just personal accounts? Does Twitter have an arrangement with government agencies for their use of Twitter services that is not available to the public at large? I understand government using all available tools to gets its message out but how in the world can anyone involved, especially government employees, think that blocking citizens from those government twitter account is an acceptable practice unless government is intentionally attempting to silence any group or person that has a counter view?

I personally think there should be severe penalties, starting with termination, for those government employees who have taken actions that chill free speech.
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Old May 24, 18, 8:59 am
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Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
If government is using twitter to communicate with the public and twitter is not a government provided service aren't all accounts just personal accounts?
The case was not about the ability to *receive* tweets, but rather to post them in a particular forum, namely Trump's reply threads.

Does Twitter have an arrangement with government agencies for their use of Twitter services that is not available to the public at large?
Don't know, but not relevant to the case.


Read the opinion. If you still have questions after reading it, do ask again, but please refer to the opinion so I can tell what you're asking about.

blocking citizens from those government twitter account is an acceptable practice unless government is intentionally attempting to silence any group or person that has a counter view
That's kinda exactly what makes it most unconstitutional. AKA viewpoint based prior restraint.

I personally think there should be severe penalties, starting with termination, for those government employees who have taken actions that chill free speech.
In this case, that's called "impeachment". Call your congresscritter if you really want him fired over this.
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Old May 24, 18, 9:17 am
  #18  
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Originally Posted by saizai View Post
The case was not about the ability to *receive* tweets, but rather to post them in a particular forum, namely Trump's reply threads.



Don't know, but not relevant to the case.


Read the opinion. If you still have questions after reading it, do ask again, but please refer to the opinion so I can tell what you're asking about.



That's kinda exactly what makes it most unconstitutional. AKA viewpoint based prior restraint.



In this case, that's called "impeachment". Call your congresscritter if you really want him fired over this.
Not really wondering about this particular case but more how it will impact other areas of government, areas that I deal with on a direct basis often enough to concern me.

My concern is more with what TSA has been doing. They were blocking as early or earlier than Trump. I don't concern myself too much with him since his actions are pretty well covered by media while TSA slinks around in the shadows doing who knows what.
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Old May 25, 18, 10:42 am
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All, I am the litigant in Davison v Plowman and Davison v Loudoun. I also have an ongoing case against the Loudoun County School Board. As you can see, suing just one corrupt official in Loudoun doesn't cause the others to stop violating the law.

Here are the highlights from these cases:

1. Davison v Plowman:
- a social media account of a gov't body (in this case the Loudoun County Commonwealth's Attorney Office) is a "limited public forum"
- in a limited public forum, they can restrict the subject of comments for any reasonable purpose (e.g. no discussion of how to bypass TSA rules)
- however, they cannot delete comments that are relevant because you criticize them (TSA is inefficient and should stopo patting down babies)
- I allowed the jduge to rule on the facts instead of a jury. Big mistake. The judge ruled my comments criticizing Plowman for appointing special prosecutors in some cases but not a complaint of mine could be removed by Plowman because they were "off topic". Thus, Plowman didn't violate the 1st Amd by deleting comments.
- The Facebook block was never directly addressed. Plowman had effectively surrendered and promised the court he would never do it again so injunctive relief was N/A. As a state official, Plowman is immune from damages in his official role. And the judge said Plowman might not have known any better even if blocking is unconstitutional.

2. Davison v Loudoun (Randall)
- the judge ruled that Randall's page ("Chair Phyllis J. Randall") was operated in an official manner similar to the Trump twitter ruling
- Randall admitted she blocked me because she didn't like my criticism of fellow officials.
- Such "viewpoint discrimination" is unconstitutional on any type of gov't forum.
- Judge issued a similar declaratory judgment

So far, these cases only deal with whether (i) comments can be deleted for violating reasonable rules and (ii) whether an official can block you for criticizing them.

However, the bigger question is that even if you violate the rules once or twice, does the gov't agency have to notify you and let you appeal (due process) and can they even block you going forward if you do violate the rules. The case law clearly suggests they cannot. A concept known as "prior restraint" says that you cannot inhibit speech before it occurs and before you know the speaker is going to say. This is true even if the person's speech has previously violated laws. I am pushing the courts to consider this more fundamental concept but the courts in general like to side with gov't officials. In any case, if you are blocked on a gov't social media site you can file a suit under "prior restraint" and "due process". Tell your lawyer to use the following cases: Vance (prior restraint), Zinermon (pre-deprivation due process) and Beck (content neutrality).
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Old May 25, 18, 11:45 am
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Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
My concern is more with what TSA has been doing. They were blocking as early or earlier than Trump. I don't concern myself too much with him since his actions are pretty well covered by media while TSA slinks around in the shadows doing who knows what.
Agreed on the latter, though I don't think its Twitter blocking is really symptomatic of this. It's stupid and unconstitutional, but it's not the same sort as the rest.


Originally Posted by Brian Davison View Post
All, I am the litigant in Davison v Plowman and Davison v Loudoun.
Thanks for joining us.

As you can see, suing just one corrupt official in Loudoun doesn't cause the others to stop violating the law.
If only it were that easy. This is what permanent injunctions and damages are for, really. They don't have to give a damn if they merely get enjoined on a case by case basis; to be effective, you have to either get the whole thing banned or send a very public message that it's going to cost a lot when they do it. Both are effective deterrents.

1. Davison v Plowman:
- a social media account of a gov't body (in this case the Loudoun County Commonwealth's Attorney Office) is a "limited public forum"
- in a limited public forum, they can restrict the subject of comments for any reasonable purpose (e.g. no discussion of how to bypass TSA rules)
- however, they cannot delete comments that are relevant because you criticize them (TSA is inefficient and should stopo patting down babies)
- I allowed the jduge to rule on the facts instead of a jury. Big mistake. The judge ruled my comments criticizing Plowman for appointing special prosecutors in some cases but not a complaint of mine could be removed by Plowman because they were "off topic". Thus, Plowman didn't violate the 1st Amd by deleting comments.
- The Facebook block was never directly addressed. Plowman had effectively surrendered and promised the court he would never do it again so injunctive relief was N/A. As a state official, Plowman is immune from damages in his official role. And the judge said Plowman might not have known any better even if blocking is unconstitutional.
The first 3 points sound right-ish to me. (I suspect "any reasonable purpose" is not the correct standard of review, since this should be strict scrutiny, but close enough for tl;dr.)

Is the decision that those comments are off topic really a question of fact? Sounds more like a question of law to me. (If it was resolved on MSJ, it must have been by definition.)

Re injunction, did you get (or try for) declaratory relief?

Could you quote / cite your reference for the last sentence (re "might not have known any better")? There's a very recent case about cops having qualified immunity for mistakes of law, but that's different.

2. Davison v Loudoun (Randall)
- the judge ruled that Randall's page ("Chair Phyllis J. Randall") was operated in an official manner similar to the Trump twitter ruling
- Randall admitted she blocked me because she didn't like my criticism of fellow officials.
- Such "viewpoint discrimination" is unconstitutional on any type of gov't forum.
- Judge issued a similar declaratory judgment
Again, sounds pretty much right to me. Good for you in prosecuting it. Did you win costs & fees on either?

However, the bigger question is that even if you violate the rules once or twice, does the gov't agency have to notify you and let you appeal (due process) and can they even block you going forward if you do violate the rules. The case law clearly suggests they cannot. A concept known as "prior restraint" says that you cannot inhibit speech before it occurs and before you know the speaker is going to say. This is true even if the person's speech has previously violated laws. I am pushing the courts to consider this more fundamental concept but the courts in general like to side with gov't officials. In any case, if you are blocked on a gov't social media site you can file a suit under "prior restraint" and "due process".
What "rules" are you referring to in the first sentence?

I agree that blocking is clear prior restraint. I don't however understand why this doesn't apply to the cases above. Both are clear prior restraint. It might not have been necessary to reach this question if you got all the relief you could on other grounds.

(FWIW, this is one reason to always ask for declaratory relief; it's not mooted by voluntary cessation, and sets things up for much easier cases later on, like Bivens or 1983 actions. "Clearly established" can be an absurdly high bar sometimes.)

Tell your lawyer to use the following cases: Vance (prior restraint), Zinermon (pre-deprivation due process) and Beck (content neutrality).
Could you give specific case cites? (Or e.g. google scholar links.)
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Old May 26, 18, 9:05 am
  #21  
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The person who might be ordering the blocking of citizens from TSA Social Media accounts might be the Director of External Communications part of TSA's Office of Strategic Communications and Public Affairs. If not directly responsible at least party to those actions.

Director of External Communications

Just a reminder, these are the people who are supposedly protecting our freedoms.
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Old May 27, 18, 12:22 pm
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Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
The person who might be ordering the blocking of citizens from TSA Social Media accounts might be the Director of External Communications part of TSA's Office of Strategic Communications and Public Affairs.
Speculative IMO. Obviously, responsible in the sense of being the PR supervisor, but as for who actually does it, no way to know. I doubt they bother monitoring it. Actually I doubt they even have a policy on it, approval requirements, or anything like that; my bet is that anyone w/ access to their twitter account just blocks people when they feel like it.

Just a reminder, these are the people who are supposedly protecting our freedoms.
These people (TSA PR) aren't. Their job is only to protect the TSA.
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Old May 27, 18, 1:06 pm
  #23  
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Originally Posted by saizai View Post
Speculative IMO. Obviously, responsible in the sense of being the PR supervisor, but as for who actually does it, no way to know. I doubt they bother monitoring it. Actually I doubt they even have a policy on it, approval requirements, or anything like that; my bet is that anyone w/ access to their twitter account just blocks people when they feel like it.



These people (TSA PR) aren't. Their job is only to protect the TSA.
They take the exact same oath as all other TSA employees.

I, (state name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.
(Pub. L. 89554, Sept. 6, 1966, 80 Stat. 424.)
That makes their primary duty to the Constitution.
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Old Nov 9, 18, 11:58 am
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Several individuals who had their Twitter accounts blocked by @TSA and @ASKtsa are now able to access those pages again.

Does anyone care to speculate why this might have happened?
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Old Nov 9, 18, 12:58 pm
  #25  
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I hope my post on the TSA Blog earlier this week had something to do with it.

TSA's move to social media is a joke. Take @AskTSA as an example. Say something that TSA doesn't like and the account gets blocked from even viewing @AskTSA. Try to find out why a person is block is a futile effort because there is no one to ask. Based on recent court decisions even the fact that TSA is blocking twitter users is an illegal act but will TSA address that issue? NO is the answer.
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Old Nov 9, 18, 1:02 pm
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Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
I hope my post on the TSA Blog earlier this week had something to do with it.
Hopefully, it did.
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Old Nov 10, 18, 5:30 am
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Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
I hope my post on the TSA Blog earlier this week had something to do with it.
Extremely doubtful. More likely, Curtis "Bob" Burns' successor changed things.

Please LMK if there are any blocks still in place against any account from any TSA or TSA-affiliated account.
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Old Nov 10, 18, 6:57 am
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Originally Posted by saizai View Post
Extremely doubtful. More likely, Curtis "Bob" Burns' successor changed things.
Makes one wonder if Burns didn't block those of us who argued with him on the TSA Blog from TSA's other social media accounts because he couldn't block us on the blog by not publishing our comments. TSA retaliation at work. That wouldn't surprise me in the least because he certainly had access to our IP addresses through both the blog and Twitter.

BTW, I note that the TSA Blog might be going to a monthly instead of weekly review of all the bad things TSA screeners have found. That would be one way to phase it out.

https://www.tsa.gov/blog/2018/11/09/...w-october-2018
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Old Nov 12, 18, 7:44 pm
  #29  
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Originally Posted by petaluma1 View Post
Several individuals who had their Twitter accounts blocked by @TSA and @ASKtsa are now able to access those pages again.

Does anyone care to speculate why this might have happened?
Originally Posted by saizai View Post
Extremely doubtful. More likely, Curtis "Bob" Burns' successor changed things.

Please LMK if there are any blocks still in place against any account from any TSA or TSA-affiliated account.
Originally Posted by petaluma1 View Post
Makes one wonder if Burns didn't block those of us who argued with him on the TSA Blog from TSA's other social media accounts because he couldn't block us on the blog by not publishing our comments. TSA retaliation at work. That wouldn't surprise me in the least because he certainly had access to our IP addresses through both the blog and Twitter.

BTW, I note that the TSA Blog might be going to a monthly instead of weekly review of all the bad things TSA screeners have found. That would be one way to phase it out.

https://www.tsa.gov/blog/2018/11/09/...w-october-2018
I, for one, kept referring to Davison v Loudoun County Board of Supervisors in which a federal judge ruled that blocking citizens from a government web site was a violation of the 1st Amendment. I threatened a lawsuit but frankly didn't have the financial resources to challenge the TSA in court. I will just point out that the coincidence between the untimely passing of Blogdad Bob and the sudden restoration of citizen access to official TSA web sites is interesting.
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Old Nov 15, 18, 1:13 pm
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Originally Posted by petaluma1 View Post
That wouldn't surprise me in the least because he certainly had access to our IP addresses through both the blog and Twitter.
Not through Twitter without a subpoena & court fight.
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