I am a constituent of the 12th Legislative District of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
After my recent letter to the editor of this paper, all of my posts on Rep. Daryl Metcalfe’s official Facebook page were removed. He has also blocked me from posting any further comments or messages on his page. This despite the fact that I had enabled the “Constituent Badge” credentials in Facebook.
Censorship by elected officials that targets particular views by speakers on a subject is known as viewpoint discrimination and violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. In a 2017 case, a federal-district court ruled this type of social-media censorship as unconstitutional. Without a doubt, it is unacceptable for citizen voices to be squelched by government sponsored censorship.
This is not an isolated incident. It is apparent that Rep. Metcalfe has been systematically removing dissenting posts and blocking citizen input on his Facebook Page for some time. His Facebook page appears to be regularly “cleansed” of any dissenting posts.
Apparently, the only acceptable social media post is one that 100-percent agrees with Mr. Metcalfe’s position.
Mr. Metcalfe regularly paints himself as a “defender” of the constitution. However, his actions indicate that he believes his own constituents are not entitled to exercise their constitutional rights.
It is one thing to manhandle outside, paid protestors at his Harrisburg office. It is another thing to suppress the public opinions/comments of his own constituents. This is a democracy — not a dictatorship.
Elected officials swear an oath to defend the constitution. An elected official who cannot accept or tolerate dissent is unfit to serve.
I call on Mr. Metcalfe to rectify this situation immediately. If he does not, he should resign his office immediately.