UPDATE: Stace Nelson case will be one to watch

I have been thinking about this today, A LOT!

Soon to be resigning Republican state Senator Stace Nelson is being sued by a second-year University of South Dakota law student in Vermillion for kicking him off his Facebook page.

Jeff Church says in the complaint filed in federal court in Sioux Falls that Nelson’s Facebook page is a public forum.

Church says by not letting him comment on his posts, Nelson is denying him his First Amendment rights.

It may be a pretty cut and dry case;

Earlier this year, a federal appeals court said that President Donald Trump could not block his critics on Twitter and this is account was a “public forum.”

I think where it could get complicated is if Jeff was threatening physical harm to Nelson or his family (actual harm NOT hyperbole) he could have a case. But as I told an elected official tonight who asked my opinion on it I said, “Whether that is you, Mayor TenHaken, Councilor Neitzert or Nelson, if you are using your FB page as a public forum to get out public information, you have opened yourself to a public platform, and as a public official, you can’t curb free speech.” We also talked about what I said above, if people are actually threatening you, you have a different case. But I do know for a fact that Councilors Neitzert, Stehly, Erickson and Mayor TenHaken have all blocked commenters they don’t agree with. This case may overturn all that ‘blocking’. I don’t know enough law to make an educated guess, but it seems the Federal ruling may stand.

I have suggested to Stehly in the past she just put up a blog like I have so you can moderate the idiots. Because on FB, it is a FREE for ALL for idiots, and why ANY politician would want to start a discussion on an issue over there is beyond me.

The irony of all this is that Cameraman Bruce and I have told the TenHaken administration several times to NOT use Facebook to get out information or start a ‘public’ discussion. They should use the city’s official website FIRST and SECONDLY hold a PUBLIC press conference or open house to have a discussion with the public and the media.

And for the record, I don’t block many comments. If you are being libelous about someone or you call me a fat little idiot, you will probably be deleted of even blocked. In fact I have blocked OR edited many of my main commenters several times. Ironically they have thanked me in an email by saying “Thanks for deleting/editing my comment, I wasn’t thinking.” And on FB, there isn’t a lot of thinkers.

UPDATE: I have told Stehly not to block people’s opinions, but I really got a chuckle out of this;

Councilors Christine Erickson and Greg Neitzert say they’ve also been blocked by Stehly. Stehly asserts those two blocked her first, though both Neitzert and Erickson insist they do not block anyone from seeing their Facebook pages.

“I will say I have no one blocked nor do I recall ever blocking her,” Neitzert said.

Yeah, Greg, and monkeys fly from my ass. Like I said already, I don’t care if it is Theresa, Greg or any other elected official, you shouldn’t block citizen’s comments on a public forum when you are a public official (comments AND friends both). But to say he is innocent is a stretch. Neitzert shut down sfmeetings.org earlier this year without the consent of co-creators of the site. I won’t go into any more detail than that, but let’s just say, all the damn hand sanitizer in the world won’t clean Lady MacNeitzert’s hands.



8 comments ↓

#1 "Woodstock" on 12.05.19 at 2:37 am

“‘fat little idiot?'”….”That’s my nickname back in the hood”….”But leave it to Stace to be sued for doing something he can now do”….”And it’s frankly a paradox that only a conservative could find himself in”….

#2 Bruce on 12.05.19 at 8:05 am

Facebook is a place to share pictures of the grandkids since the grandkids left it years ago.

The original idea was to let students have a place to communicate with each other then the schools started to require use to to assign homework. Then parents linked in to supervise their kids and then the businesses decided they could monitor their employees. Now the government uses it to only let their select friends in on the latest happenings so they can keep an eye on them. It has become a great spying network and we are suppose to be surprised when some people want to close the door on some groups wanting to burn down their house.

The abuse of the forum by many leaves many of us with the desire to never use it. A positive reason to not use Facebook? An unmonitored meeting place where everyone spies on each other and people are upset when the owner doesn’t want you to enter? How dumb.

Now a USD law student wants to use his version of the US Constitution to attack the system with a youngster’s narrow view of life?

Facebook is supposed to be about the First Amendment but in reality it is counter to everything the Fourth Amendment is about.

How really dumb.

#3 D@ily Spin on 12.05.19 at 9:09 am

I don’t have a Facebook account. I’ll never have one. Isn’t it evident that it’s foolish to give personal information and comment to social media. It always comes back to be used against you.
Example: 2 years ago I would have endorsed vaping as the best method to stop smoking. Today I’d say vaping is worse than smoking.
I don’t twitter either. A comment reflex is often wrong and would have never been made without more thought.

#4 The Winklevoss Triplet on 12.05.19 at 10:10 am

The courts have been pretty clear on this, from the President down to county supervisors: elected officials blocking people on social media is an unconstitutional.

#5 tara volesky on 12.05.19 at 7:06 pm

There are numerous public officials that have blocked comments.

#6 l3wis on 12.05.19 at 7:16 pm

Yeah, and they should all knock it off, or better yet, stop posting on FB and start holding public meetings where we can confront them about issues. What a concept?!

#7 The Mayor and The Public on 12.06.19 at 9:53 am

19 months into a 48 month term, our esteemed mayor still uses his two COS(s) AND Facebook to shield himself from the Public.

How many more months will it take for him to come out of the shadows….

Definitely shows a lack of courage on his part to answer to his constituents!!

#8 "Woodstock" on 12.06.19 at 1:33 pm

“I see the mayor brought his one and only tie with him to DC”….”I wonder if he left his sport jacket behind, however, for Jim Jordan?”… #TooCool4TheRules

Leave a Comment