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Ocasio-Cortez defends blocking people on Twitter

Ocasio-Cortez defends blocking people on Twitter
© Aaron Schwartz

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezProgressive lawmakers call for United Nations probe into DHS 'human rights abuses' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Democrats play defense, GOP goes on attack after Biden oil comments | Energy Dept. exempts quick dishwashers from existing efficiency standards | Ocasio-Cortez says having Green New Deal would have helped handle COVID-19 pandemic Ocasio-Cortez says Biden vote can be 'tactical' effort to support marginalized communities MORE (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.” 

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.”

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“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 TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump, Jared Kusher's lawyer threatens to sue Lincoln Project over Times Square billboards Facebook, Twitter CEOs to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 17 Sanders hits back at Trump's attack on 'socialized medicine' MORE 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.