Contact Us

Is Coach Harsin Violating the Constitution By Blocking People on Twitter?

BYU v Boise State
Loren Orr, Getty Images

Tweet something negative about the Boise State Broncos, their fan base or Coach Harsin? You may notice that the Broncos head coach has blocked you on Twitter and it may be unconstitutional.

The Idaho Statesman took a deeper look into why Coach Harsin has blocked certain users on Twitter.  Harsin explained that he mostly uses his Twitter account as a recruiting tool but while he’s on there he’ll see negative comments about the team.  He uses Twitter to build a positive energy around the team and its fans, so he’ll literally block out the negativity.  We all know a Twitter troll or two, so that seems fair enough. But is what Harsin’s doing unconstitutional?

The Statesman talked to a social media attorney that said he may actually be violating the first amendment by blocking out the noise.  Twitter’s not stealth at just hiding people’s accounts or making them impossible to find if you’ve been blocked.  If you try to to view the user’s tweets it will actually tell you “You’ve been blocked from seeing @usernamehere’s tweets.” It’s no big deal if you block an ex or frenemy from seeing your account, but Coach Harsin is another story.

The attorney tells the Statesman that because Coach Harsin works for Boise State, a public entity, he could be walking the line of violating First Amendment rights of the users he’s blocked.  He’s also the State of Idaho’s most well paid employee.  For those reasons banning users based on content, message or viewpoint could be considered a constitutional violation.

A representative from Boise State’s general counsel’s office told the newspaper that the lines are blurry for Harsin as his account isn’t one of the accounts considered an “official Boise State University account.”

How laws apply to social media is an ever changing and it’ll be absolutely fascinating to see how something like this plays out.


Best of 630 The Fan

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for The Fan Club quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive The Fan Club contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.