Letters to the Editor

Letter: Muting on Facebook

To the Editor:

In 2016, Justin Timberlake posted a selfie on his Instagram of him preparing to vote. This resulted in a torrent of news articles expressing concern that young voters might not know it could be illegal to take a picture inside their polling place. The same concern extended to ballot selfies. While not illegal in all states, both types of photography were, and are still illegal in Illinois.

During this nationwide awareness effort, Allen Skillicorn, then candidate for Illinois Rep 66th District, posted a picture of his ballot, inside his polling place, to his public FB page. I had an exchange with him about this and it was clear that he knew it was illegal. When he brushed it off, citing pending legislation to change the law, I told him he was setting a bad example for young voters.

Then Skillicorn muted me on Facebook. I am his constituent and I have been muted ever since.

This July, I spoke to Representative Skillicorn at the Crystal Lake Independence Day parade. I asked him directly why he has muted me. I also asked if he received my emails on the subject. He confirmed that he had. He went on to tell me that his Facebook is his private property and he could mute or block whoever he wanted. 

I informed him that there is a case in which the ACLU has filed suit against a governor on behalf of a constituent who had been blocked on social media, and a federal judge recently upheld a ruling against Donald Trump for blocking certain critics on Twitter. I told Representative Skillicorn I'd share info on these two legal cases with him.

I am an elected Precinct Committee Person and I have a public Facebook page. On July 9, I posted articles referencing the two legal cases to my public Facebook for Representative Skillicorn. This is when I discovered that Representative Skillicorn had made comments on my public FB just a few weeks before. Representative Skillicorn apparently enjoys the freedom to post on my public Facebook page while he keeps me, a constituent, muted on his.

Lisa Arvanites

Huntley

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