Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on Thursday defended her right to block people on Twitter, saying “harassment is not a viewpoint.”
“I have 5.2 million followers. Less than 20 accounts are blocked for ongoing harassment. 0 are my constituents,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “No one is entitled to abuse.”
The New York freshman added that “people are free to speak whatever classist, racist, false, misogynistic, bigoted comments they’d like,” but that they “do not have the right to force others to endure their harassment and abuse.”
1. I have 5.2 million followers. Less than 20 accounts are blocked for ongoing harassment. 0 are my constituents.
2. Harassment is not a viewpoint. Some accounts, like the Daily Caller, posted fake nude photos of me & abused my comments to spread it. No one is entitled to abuse. https://t.co/0QWKqJFzRe
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 29, 2019
Ocasio-Cortez’s comments come after the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University penned a letter to the congresswoman on Wednesday that urged her not to block people on Twitter on the basis of viewpoint because it is “unconstitutional.”
“You use the account as an extension of your office to share information about congressional hearings, to explain policy proposals, to advocate legislation, and to solicit public comment about issues relating to government,” the letter reads. “The @AOC account is important to you as a legislator, to your constituents, and to others who seek to understand and influence your legislative decisions and priorities.”
Last month, an appeals court ruled that President Trump cannot block Twitter users from his official @realdonaldtrump account, because he uses it for official purposes and because the practice is discriminatory.
The Department of Justice last week asked a federal appeals court to reconsider the case.