June 6, 2016 – Florida Politics
by Jim Rosica
A list of everyone who has blocked, or been blocked by, an elected official on Twitter might be a public record, according to Attorney General Pam Bondi‘s office.
“The question presented … involves mixed questions of law and fact that this office cannot resolve,” said an informal Attorney General’s advisory opinion issued last week.
The opinion was requested by Gainesville City Attorney Nicolle Shalley.
She wanted to know “whether a list or record of accounts which have been blocked from posting to or accessing an elected official’s personal Twitter feed is a public record,” according to the opinion.
Senior Assistant Attorney General Gerry Hammond told Shalley “a determination of whether the list of blocked accounts is a public record requires resolution … of whether the tweets (that) resulted in the blocked accounts were public records.”
“If the tweets the public official is sending are public records, then a list of blocked accounts, prepared in connection with those public records tweets, could well be determined by a court to be a public record,” he wrote.
Barbara Petersen, president of The First Amendment Foundation, a Tallahassee-based open government watchdog group, called the directive “sort of a non-opinion.”
But she did “agree with the statement that if the tweets were public record, then records of those who were blocked are subject to disclosure,” she added. [READ MORE]