The world’s best, and most decorated, surfer is known for many, many things. Eleven world titles, scintillating performances at important waves, a central figure in the Momentum Generation, beau of starlets and models, fierce social media blocker.
Oh, many have tasted vanishing at Kelly Slater’s tanned hand. Sometimes the guillotine falls with a warning. Something like, “And you’re blocked.” Or simply, “blocked.” Sometimes an offender is cut off quietly and in darkness, attempting to check in with the greatest of all time only to be met with a “user not found” screen and an unhelpful list of alternatives.
Well, I have found myself locked outside with the many, banned on Instagram, Facebook, even Twitter and imagined that I would be forced to suffer my indignity in silence forever.
In silence forever, that is, until I learned about the tale of Thomas Miko, a man from Georgia who enjoyed the teachings of Donald Trump and wrote as much on his state representative Vernon Jones’ Facebook page. Now, at that time Jones was a Democrat (he is now a Republican) and did not like the notes so erased them and then took the Slater Way and blocked Miko.
Miko got angry, filed a lawsuit alleging that his evaporation was both hurtful illegal, and proceeded, days ago, to win a $45,000 settlement after the court agreed.
U.S. District Judge Steven Grimberg stated in his opinion that when public figures block constituents from their social media profiles to stop them from expressing conflicting opinions, that constitutes “viewpoint discrimination.” The judge also found that Miko’s claims were enough to prove liability and issued a judgement against Jones.
And there we go.
Shall we class action?