Social Media and Censorship in the Public Sector

CATEGORY: Authored Articles
CLIENT TYPE: Public Employers, Public Safety
AUTHOR: David Urban
PUBLICATION: PSHRA's Public Eye Magazine
DATE: Jun 10, 2024

Recently published in PSHRA’s Public Eye magazine, LCW Senior Counsel David Urban explores the potential First Amendment violations when public officials delete comments or block users on their social media pages. Urban reviews the U.S. Supreme Court’s examination of two cases, O’Connor-Ratcliff v. Garnier and Lindke v. Freed, which address when such actions by officials might constitute “state action.” The Court’s decision in Lindke established a test for determining state action, requiring actual authority to speak on behalf of the state and the intent to exercise that authority. Urban emphasizes the need for public agencies to proactively manage their social media practices to avoid liability.


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