Skirmish erupts over Elk Grove Mayor's social media accounts

A skirmish erupted on social media over the last couple of days between Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen and individuals who claimed to have been blocked from her social media accounts.

One of the critics came is from the Twitter account @Americanturban, which describes itself as a blog "about Sikhs and Sikhs in America." One of their Tweets said the following.

Additionally, American Turban defended Indian Americans and Hmong American's in Elk Grove who they say have been unfairly targeted by the mayor. The Hmong American group has been criticizing the first-term mayor since last summer before she defeated former Elk Grove Mayor Steve Ly when they said comments made by Singh-Allen about their culture were offensive. 

Below is a letter from Winty Singh of advising Singh-Allen, that a public official, she is in violation of judicial rulings on blocking individuals from their social media accounts. 

Click image to enlarge.
Coming to the defense of Singh-Allen on Twitter, Natomas Unified School District Trustee Lisa Kaplan said the mayor was within her legal rights to block users from her social media accounts as long as the account was unrelated to her official capacity. In the tweet below, Kaplan was replying to critics of the mayor. 

Reached by phone, Singh-Allen stressed her Twitter account is for non-official business. Additionally, she said based on three different legal opinions, she can block users from the personal social media accounts. 

Interestingly, last year former mayor Steve Ly had blocked several users from his Facebook and Twitter accounts, including Elk Grove News, but relented under threat of a lawsuit. Ly did not, however, at the time have accounts that were were labeled as private.  

By our count, the topic received over six dozen Tweets and dozens more replies and likes in about a 24 hour period. 

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Unknown said...

In response to Lisa Kaplan broad statement about public vs personal account, as reported in Elk Grove Times..."Once an elected official uses his/her social media account(s) to promote, voice, and interact with users in an official capacity, the account qualifies as a public forum. The blocking and exclusion of users based on viewpoints and criticism can lead to serious repercussions by the courts as the courts have ruled that it is unconstitutional and a violation of a person’s First Amendment rights."

D.J. Blutarsky said...

I trust City Attorney Jonathan 'Settlement Check' Hobbs has advised our Mayor correctly! I mean he has never lost a case, or ever been overruled by the FPPC, right?

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