When NOT to block someone

Last week, I wrote about when to block someone from your Facebook page. Without a doubt, there are circumstances when it is appropriate: for example, when someone is vulgar, slanderous, or just plain nuts. However, someone being mean is not, in and of itself, a reason for a block. To that end, there are some points when a block is an inappropriate response, and indeed, an over reaction. Here are some examples of when not to block someone:

1) When they disagree with you: This should go without saying, but do NOT delete someone just because they disagree with your opinion. If someone avoids being insulting, vulgar, or racist, a block is almost never acceptable. Doing so will earn you (well-deserved) negative feedback.

2) When they attack your party: I’ve been on the countless end of attacks on the Democratic party, and I’ve never made a block for that reason. Like it or not, as an elected official, you are a representative of your party. To that end, people are allowed to attack you on that end.

3) When they attack you: Yeah, I know, this seems counter-intuitive, but by and large, I really think that people are, and should be, allowed to attack an elected official for their vote without fear of being blocked. Even if someone occasionally crosses the line, I really try to avoid blocking that person. The only circumstances under which a block is appropriate (for attacking you), is when someone is repeatedly and blatantly insulting or vulgar.

4) When someone attacks your actions: When someone attacks a vote or decision you made, it’s almost impossible to justify a block. People are certainly allowed to attack and disagree with the actions that elected officials take. For me, the line starts to get drawn when the attacks become personal (For example, “That vote was terrible!” vs. “You’re terrible!”).

Again, this isn’t meant to be a comprehensive list, but I’d love your feedback. What do you think – disagree with anything I posted here? Am I missing anything obvious? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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