Colorado’s Senate president blocked a Facebook commenter. That cost taxpayers $25,000 – and he’s not the first to prompt a payout.

The Colorado Sun: Colorado Senate President Leroy Garcia’s decision to block a commenter on Facebook might have seemed like something anyone would do on the social media site.

Don’t like what a user is saying about you? Delete them and what they have to say.

But those few clicks of a button on the Pueblo Democrat’s official page cost Colorado taxpayers $25,000 after Alexander Armijo, the man he tried to silence, successfully sued claiming his First Amendment rights had been violated.

“Social media is a new area, but a common challenge across the country as the laws governing it continue to evolve,” Garcia’s state-paid attorney, Ed Ramey, said in a written statement. “As of now all comments, including those crude, offensive or vile, are required to be published on an elected official’s page.”

But the truth of the matter is that questions around public officials’ silencing of people on social media on their official pages — personal ones are a different story — are hardly new. The Colorado attorney representing Armijo has won $75,000 for his clients in the past year by filing lawsuits against elected politicians over social media blocking. 

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