Apparently Gavin Newsom's reached a level of popularity on Twitter now that he can afford to turn away some fans (or non-fans, as the case may be) -- he's been blocking people from reading his posts.
It's actually pretty small numbers. Newsom's blocked five people so far as we can tell -- including one former staffer who doesn't get along with him and a couple of high-profile critics of the mayor -- out of the more than 130,000 people who are following him.
Newsom campaign guru Eric Jaye said the mayor's only banned people who have violated the terms of service (not the Twitter terms of service, it should be noted).
"We encourage comments both positive and critical," Jaye said. "But (Twitter) is not a forum for flaming. There are plenty of those in San Francisco."
Those who have been banned, however, say they don't know why they could be accused of "flaming" the mayor on Twitter.
"We have legitimate policy issues related to his agenda and we talk about it," said Jonah Horowitz of the League of Young Voters (aka, the League of Pissed Off Voters), which was blocked by Newsom a couple weeks ago. "I don't really understand what he's doing. It's sort of odd and insulting."
Also banned: SF Bay Guardian writer Steven Jones.
Horowitz pointed out that blocking people on Twitter doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Because Newsom's Twitter posts are public, anyone can see them and reply to them -- even someone who's been blocked. Blocking someone means that person can't get regular updates on Newsom's posts.
Still, it's not like Newsom needs the numbers. As of the most recent Twitter rankings, the mayor's the 87th most popular poster -- he pulled ahead of Stephen Colbert just this morning.
As a Democrat, isn't he supposed to be 'willing to die for' my right to free speech?
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