Social Media Policies – I Will Not Suppress Your Freedom of Speech

Social Media Policies – I Will Not Suppress Your Freedom of Speech

(1) No one can be blocked from my campaign Facebook, Twitter, or any social media because of the opinions they hold. 

•. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Davidson v. Randall ruled on January 7, 2019 that a public official’s Facebook is a “public forum”. As such, given and the fact that one the core purposes of our First Amendment is to hold our government accountable by allowing constituents their unfettered, free, open rights to communicate with their elected officials and for their views to be heard, no one can be blocked from my Facebook because of the opinions they hold.

• The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York decided on May 23, 2018 in Knight First Amendment Institute v. Trump that elected officials’ Twitter accounts are public forums as well. Any elected official who blocks access to constituents’ Twitter accounts violates their First Amendment Rights.

(2) I will blacklist (or block) anyone from my Facebook who spams or floods the page.
• There have been no legal decisions on spamming or flooding to date. Nevertheless, it is clear to me that a spammer’s or flooder’s malicious choice to flood the page violates everyone else’s right to free speech. 

• Spamming or flooding is disrespectful, waste everyone’s time and blocks the ability for every other District 53 constituent to have unfettered, free, open rights to communicate. This must always be stopped.

• However, in my opinion, it would be improper to permanently block a spammer/flooder as that would violate the individual’s rights to free speech. 

• Instead, anytime a person is blacklisted, he or she will be blacklisted for 30 days. Should that person wish to return to the page, he or she may request the right to return as long as he or she is willing to abide by our no spamming/no flooding rules. This request should be in writing and mailed to Friends of Marcie Adkins, PO Box 50053, Malabar, FL. 32950. 

• The blacklisted individual will be allowed to return to the public forum as long as he or she stops spamming or flooding, otherwise the person will be blacklisted again and the process will repeat itself.

(3) I request civility and globally denounce all cursing or hate speech of any kind. However, we must also recognize that Americans all have the right to speak in different ways and we enshrine and protect all individuals’ rights to free speech in our public forum. 

(4) No posts can be deleted.

• The First Amendment Foundation, an organization established to protect and advance all Floridian’s constitutional right to open government, has advised me that any public material posted to my Facebook or any other social media page, whether it be on my personal page or my official page, may not be deleted. 

• No comments may be deleted because all public discussion in a public forum is a public record and is therefore subject to disclosure and retention requirements.

• Deleting a post is deleting a public record which is illegal.

• Since it is illegal for me to remove posts, if you object to any posts on hate-speech grounds, you are responsible to complain to Facebook yourself.

(5) I may not discuss legislative business with other members of the Florida House of Representatives on social media.

• The reasoning for this prohibition is Florida’s Government in the Sunshine Law (F.S. 286.011) which protects the citizenry’s right of access to governmental proceedings. 

• Any gathering (or talk on social media) of 2 or more members of the House of Representatives must be open to the public, given advance notice of and minutes of the meetings must be taken and recorded.

• Therefore, if I was to discuss public policy with other members of the Florida House of Representatives on social media, I would be violating Florida’s Sunshine Law.

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NOTES:  
(1) These policies do not apply to me yet as I have not yet been elected. However, they DO apply to the incumbent who is notorious for violating these laws. 

As such, I have decided to set myself apart and to prepare myself for properly following the law when I AM elected to serve you. Therefore, these policies will be invoked immediately, as of 6:50 am, 5/14/2020.

(2) I have previously posted that we would return the anti-gay and anti-semitic posts to Facebook that we removed after we denounced them last Thursday, 5-7-2020. However, we are unable to do so for some computer-Facebook reason.

Fake News and Censorship

Fake News and Censorship

A Response to Randy Fine’s Allegations of Mother’s Day Abuse

Yesterday, on his public Facebook page, Representative Randy Fine posted a press release in which he asked Marcie Adkins, Republican Candidate for Florida House District 53, to (1) denounce anti-Semitic comments made online over the weekend by her and her supporters and (2) denounce and apologize for the harassment of his mother by her campaign consultant on Mother’s Day. 

Anti-Semitic Comments
With respect to any anti-Semitic comments the questions stand: What comments were made by whom, when and where over the weekend? No anti-Semitic comments were made by me or any of my supporters, to my knowledge. Allegations such as this should be made only with proof. 

Representative Fine provided no evidence to support any of his claims.

Harassment on Mother’s Day
With respect to Randy Fine’s claim of his mother being harassed by my campaign consultant, I see a different picture. 

Apparently, there is a publicly posted news article on the Space Coast Rocket dated February 2020 which discusses the FBI’s investigation into an alleged prostitution scandal that Mr. Fine and others were allegedly involved in. 

On Sunday, 5/10/2020, Mrs. Fine found that article and posted her own public comment, “Fake News” and attached her comment to the article. My campaign consultant responded and the two of them conducted what could be deemed as a public argument. Regardless, I do not characterize their argument as anything more than an argument and Mr. Burns did not name call, harass or insult Mrs. Fine.

To my knowledge, Mr. Burns has not contacted Mrs. Fine in any other form or fashion nor has he ever insulted her in any way, on Mother’s Day or any other day.

Like his anti-Semitic claims, Fine offered no evidence of his harassment claims and I see none.

Freedom of Speech
Behind all of this un-necessary drama lies the foundation of our nation’s rights to free speech and the incumbent’s violation of those rights. This is because Representative Fine is notorious for blocking his District 53 constituents and removing their posts. In fact, he did so in real time last night on his press release post about this matter. When constituents asked him for proof of his allegations or contradicted his allegations, he deleted them.

Mr. Fine is an elected official. As such, his actions are illegal and infringe on his constituents’ first amendment rights.

Given his long standing history of violating his constituents’ rights, many constituents have asked me my own policies for my campaign Facebook page. I have said that I would not block people except for spamming and that all would be allowed to speak.

Directly related to all of this is that last week, on Thursday, 5/7/2020, anti-Semitic and anti-gay comments as well as cursing occurred on my page. I denounced all of this and the anti-Semitic and anti-gay comments were removed. I later said that I should not have removed the posts, just denounced them, due to free speech.

All this has created quite a controversy with the incumbent crying foul. Hence, I have asked the First Amendment Foundation for their input and guidance as to how an elected official must conduct themselves. Their answers will guide my campaign going forward and how I will conduct myself now and when elected.

Honorably Moving Forward
I have emailed Mr. Fine and asked him that we work together to honorably move forward, for the good of South Brevard.

Specifically, I asked him to call me in the future any time he has any concerns with any anti-Semitism or anti-anything or any insults of his mother. None will be tolerated but, to my knowledge, none exist except for those aforementioned anti-Semitic and anti-gay comments on 5/7/2020 which were previously denounced and deleted within 2 hours of their posting. 

I view this entire matter as a miscommunication that could have been simply avoided by Mr. Fine picking up the phone and calling me. I would hope that, going forward, should Mr. Fine be faced with any fears or misinformation as appear to have grabbed him yesterday, that he will call me.

I am committed to running and winning this race with honor, integrity, and respect for others. I hope that this will describe the rest of this election cycle.

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