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MP's and social media.

MP's and social media.

Postby Hairyloon » Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:17 pm

I have been observing some MP's on social media and it is apparent that it is common practice for some of them to "Block" users that they don't like.
While I fully accept that MP's may not want to read the drivel that some such people pour out, I think it is wrong for MP's to restrict access to their public pronouncements.

I have come across this template and I am wondering if there is any mileage in it.
It seems to me that in some cases it is quite likely to be unlawful discrimination.

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Re: MP's and social media.

Postby atticus » Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:41 pm

The legal question is whether a Member of Parliament is a public authority. I question that letter's reliance on s6.3(b) of the HRA.

section 6.3 wrote:(3)In this section “public authority” includes—
(a)a court or tribunal, and
(b)any person certain of whose functions are functions of a public nature,
but does not include either House of Parliament or a person exercising functions in connection with proceedings in Parliament.


How it is contended that an MP is acting as a public authority when tweeting is not clear to me, and perhaps someone can make the reasoned argument for that case.

I have looked at @HumanRightsECHR on twitter, and have not been able to assess the credentials of whoever runs that account.
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Re: MP's and social media.

Postby b1969 » Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:54 pm

I'm not able to look at @HumanRightsECHR on twitter, because, rather ironically, they have blocked me. This is, I think, because I called them out some time ago on this nonsense. The fact that they continue to peddle it, and the fact that MPs (who are not public authorities, as Atticus implies) continue legitimately to block people, tells you all you need to know.
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Re: MP's and social media.

Postby Hairyloon » Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:11 pm

atticus wrote:The legal question is whether a Member of Parliament is a public authority. I question that letter's reliance on s6.3(b) of the HRA.

section 6.3 wrote:(3)In this section “public authority” includes—
(a)a court or tribunal, and
(b)any person certain of whose functions are functions of a public nature,
but does not include either House of Parliament or a person exercising functions in connection with proceedings in Parliament.


How it is contended that an MP is acting as a public authority when tweeting is not clear to me, and perhaps someone can make the reasoned argument for that case.

I confess that I had not properly read the letter & forgotten that individuals are allowed to discriminate.
One might argue that their function as an MP is of a public nature and that the Tweeting is not in connection with proceedings in parliament.
I thought they would likely struggle wit the fact that one is perfectly entitled to discriminate against a black, lesbian, pastafarian tit because he is a tit and they would have difficulty proving that any discrimination was for any of the other reasons.

I have looked at @HumanRightsECHR on twitter, and have not been able to assess the credentials of whoever runs that account.

I think it is just some guy. I did not notice anything to suggest he is pretending otherwise.
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Re: MP's and social media.

Postby atticus » Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:31 pm

Hairyloon wrote:One might argue that their function as an MP is of a public nature
I did invite a reasoned argument of the case that an MP is acting as a public authority when twittering.
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Re: MP's and social media.

Postby b1969 » Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:50 pm

atticus wrote:
Hairyloon wrote:One might argue that their function as an MP is of a public nature
I did invite a reasoned argument of the case that an MP is acting as a public authority when twittering.


How about a reasoned argument of the case that an MP is NOT acting as a public authority when twittering...?

See Aston Cantlow v Wallbank [2003] UKHL 37

"The purpose [of section 6(1) of the Human Rights Act 1998] is that those bodies for whose acts the state is answerable before the European Court of Human Rights shall in future be subject to a domestic law obligation not to act incompatibly with Convention rights". The UK could not possibly be answerable before the ECtHR for the acts of an MP when using social media.
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Re: MP's and social media.

Postby dls » Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:57 am

The last sentence of the letter betrays it as school boy nonsense.
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Re: MP's and social media.

Postby Hairyloon » Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:07 am

atticus wrote:
Hairyloon wrote:One might argue that their function as an MP is of a public nature
I did invite a reasoned argument of the case that an MP is acting as a public authority when twittering.

That appears to be one.
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Re: MP's and social media.

Postby atticus » Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:16 pm

Why should an MP not "block" someone who directs offensive and/or hateful tweets to them? Must MPs receive threats to themselves and their families?

Some of the things that have been directed against some MPs are utterly abhorrent. Do they cease to have rights to protect themselves from such vile stuff purely by reason of being elected Members of Parliament?
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Re: MP's and social media.

Postby Hairyloon » Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:04 pm

atticus wrote:Why should an MP not "block" someone who directs offensive and/or hateful tweets to them? Must MPs receive threats to themselves and their families?

Because "blocking" prevents the someone from reading what the MP says. Or more accurately, it makes it more difficult for them.
Some of the things that have been directed against some MPs are utterly abhorrent. Do they cease to have rights to protect themselves from such vile stuff purely by reason of being elected Members of Parliament?

They can "mute" the user which stops the MP from seeing what that user says. Why do you consider that unsatisfactory? Surely freedom to listen is as important as freedom of speech.
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