After Stace Nelson lawsuit, SF Councilwoman Theresa Stehly taking fire on facebook over blocking constituents.

Could the next lawsuit over blocking constituents on social media be directed at Sioux Falls City Councilwoman Theresa Stehly?

After the story broke, in the Sioux Falls related “Sioux Falls Politics” facebook group, Stehly has been taking fire over her alleged actions in blocking constituents that she disagrees with:

Should our local politicians be allowed to block people they don’t like from FB? More specifically, should our city council members who use their FB account as one of their platforms be allowed to block other FB users?

A specific council member that is active on this forum has blocked other FB user(s) from seeing their post, all posts, which then does not allow the blocked FB user to see how the city council member is portraying specific items within the City. Where this gets concerning is when they block people who have very valid and important information who then can’t counterbalance the discussion.

Below are two screenshots. One is from my account and the other is from an unnamed FB user who has been blocked by city council woman Theresa Stehly. 

Read the entire story here.  (And join the Sioux Falls Politics forum, it’s always an interesting read.)

It’s a fairly rollicking discussion with Stehly taking fire for blocking people, as well as for other actions in interacting with constituents which left people with negative impressions.  And it finds at least a couple of Stehly’s fellow council persons making the point on how they specifically don’t block people:

The block/don’t block discussion for public officials has really come out of left field, and may leave a number of public officials at the moment wondering if there’s a way for them to openly talk about issues of public concern, while at the same time keeping their public social media presence free of trolls and ne’er do wells.

Is there a happy medium, or given the public nature of elected officials, is this an absolute?

What are your thoughts?

5 Replies to “After Stace Nelson lawsuit, SF Councilwoman Theresa Stehly taking fire on facebook over blocking constituents.”

  1. Anon

    I think they should be able to block people… it’s their page and you have many other ways to engage your public officials directly

  2. Anonymous

    If they’re using the page for the purposes of their official duties (including just discussing issues they’re working on), then it is absolute. Blocking someone is tantamount to restricting free speech.

    What elected officials should remember is that they do not have to read or reply to anyone who comments on their social media. Very few legislators respond to email so they should follow suit on social media.

  3. Pete

    I do find it strange that these same councilors were upset when Teresa gave out cards that had the email address [city, not private] and phone numbers of all the council members. But facebook is kept open as one can ignore that much easier than a phone call or an email.

    1. Anonymous

      I once heard that too, but today that’s only whispered in dark corners. Today, few men are able to stand up for what is right and speak the truth. Many live in fear of being called names.