- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Rep. Frederica Wilson has no love for social media’s meme-makers and pranksters — she literally wants them prosecuted.

The Florida Democrat weighed in on free speech issues this week and told an audience that it should be illegal to mock lawmakers.

“Those people who are online making fun of members of Congress are a disgrace,” she said while speaking in Homestead. “We’re gonna shut them down and work with whoever it is to shut them down, and they should be prosecuted. You cannot intimidate members of Congress, frighten members of Congress. It is against the law, and it’s a shame in this United States of America.”

Footage of the remarks was viewed hundreds of thousands of times on Twitter.

Over five thousand people replied to the video shared by The Daily Wire’s Ryan Saavedra.

Some responses include:

  • “They really think they are kings and queens. More like privileged little dictators.”
  • “That’s for tyrannical governments.”
  • “Obviously a very strong proponent of the First Amendment. Wilson proves, again, she is utterly clueless.”
  • “Having an opinion is against the law? Huh? What else will Democrat’s outlaw?”

The Democrat’s comments come against a political backdrop in which Twitter announced new rules for government officials.

New policy effective June 27 seeks to “protect the health of the public conversation” by hiding messages deemed unacceptable.

“Asked who besides President Trump would be affected by this rule, [a Twitter] spokesperson said the company discussed internally whether to publish a list of possible accounts, but ultimately decided not to,” Real Clear Politics reported Tuesday. “Asked why, the spokesperson said Twitter would not comment further. As to whether the list includes more Republican accounts than Democratic ones, the company said its selection criteria were nonpartisan, but declined to comment on the list’s makeup and said it would not permit external review.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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