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Can a public institution block me from their social media?

Public institutions cannot block anyone from their social media, unless it is for grave reasons. This is the conclusion established by the Constitutional Court in its judgment 1782-2023.

The Municipality of San Ramón blocked a person from their official Facebook account. The Municipality alleged as a reason that the person exposed on his social media the name, image and email of one of its civil servants. The civil servant alleged psychological and emotional distress as a result of this exposure. The person blocked by the Municipality filed a writ of amparo with the Constitutional Court.

The Constitutional Court recalled that the social media of public institutions are of a public nature. Through them, followers can access public information, as well as leave comments on the social media of the public institution. The High Court also recalled that public institutions can only block users due to proven grave reasons and that, in any case, users cannot be blocked indefinitely.

In this case, the Court concluded that the reason alleged by the Municipality was not grave enough. In this regard, the Court recalled that public officials should more widely tolerate criticism and reproach. The High Court also concluded that the indefinite blocking of the appellant was a violation of his rights. In particular, it considered that the actions of the Municipality infringed upon his right to freedom of expression.

At CELIG we provide specialized services to the LGBTQI+ community. If you want more information or make an appointment with us, call us at 2245-0402 / 2245-0855 or write to info@celigcr.com.

We are located in San José, Barrio Escalante.

M.Sc. Ana Isabel Sibaja Rojas

CELIG – Center for Equal Litigation