If you’ve ever followed Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed on Twitter, you might want to check to see if you’re still able to view his tweets, because he just might have blocked you.
In a strange act that’s irritated a few of his constituents, the politician is shutting off his tweets to some of the very people who elected him. That’s a decision that can prove especially dangerous in weeks like this one, when Atlanta residents may have been relying on his Twitter page for key information about winter weather response.
Not only has Reed’s account infamously blocked citizens, but he’s cut off journalists as well, and lots of them, according to Creative Loafing.
The blocking spree for dissenters has also led to a hashtag: #KTB, an abbreviation of “Kasim Twitter Block.”
“I find it rather humorous that my own mayor in the city I reside in decided to block me on Twitter,” said Shelbi Saine, one of several who recently discovered she was blocked by Reed. “I was blocked by the comment I made to him regarding my sadness that the Braves were leaving the city of Atlanta. That horrible comment made me no longer worthy of Twitter existence in Mayor Kasim Reed’s eyes. Who knew he was so sensitive?”
(Also read: Two Atlanta-area bars receive a major honor)
Reed has even been known to send curt Twitter responses to those who write negative press, as you can see in this AJC.com article from last year. I was the recipient of one such tweet on Thursday after writing a light-hearted piece regarding his tendency to refer to a 2014 winter storm as “Tupac.” He was not happy that we couldn’t tell he was joking.
(It should also be noted that I had begun writing this article days ago. If you need proof, here’s your proof … check the timestamp on the message.)
Some who have been blocked by Reed reached out to him to see why he made that decision. The responses haven’t all been kind.
I reached out to the mayor’s office on Monday in hopes they might shed a little light, but I did not receive a response.
Whether the account is being run by a staffer or Mayor Reed himself, he really should consider unblocking the residents and journalists who rely on his crucial updates in times of disaster.
Social media has many different uses, and everyone has their own methods for success, sure. But a public official shutting out the very people who put him in that office is a bad look.
Image: Flickr/The Aspen Institute