Michigan Government Accounts Block Hundreds On Twitter

Jul 18, 2017

Nearly 800 Twitter accounts have been blocked or muted by Michigan state government accounts, which some argue violates First Amendment rights.

The Lansing State Journal (http://on.lsj.com/2tmGGVq ) obtained records of the blocked users through a Freedom of Information Act request. The blocked Twitter handles include the official @POTUS presidential account now controlled by the Trump administration.

Blocked users cannot access tweets from those agencies, which range from lighthearted memes to official announcements sometimes related to public safety.

Records show that while some government accounts didn't block anyone, the dozen accounts associated with the Michigan Department of Transportation blocked a combined 550 individual Twitter handles.

Michigan digital content administrator Andrew Belanger says accountability is important because despite all the risks associated with social media, it helps government reach its citizens.