Below is what I wrote. Predictions?
Dear Chief Acevedo,
Thank you for agreeing to hear my concern about a small issue that is very important to me.
I am a current and native Austinite. I use twitter under the handle @attachyderm, and rely on the very helpful @Austin_Police feed for timely information about traffic and safety issues around town. I also use my twitter account for satire and jokes in a vain attempt to amuse my few twitter followers. (Because my twitter account is anonymous, I will maintain that anonymity here.)
On September 25 of this year, @Austin_Police sent out a tweet, along with an accompanying picture, stating "Residents of Emeritus Senior Living Center got a first-hand look at APD's Mounted Unit today."
As a satire, I retweeted this tweet but exchanged the original picture for one of what appears to be a riot somewhere in England, involving mounted police, people running, and general havoc. There is no obscenity or gore in the image, just a picture you might see in the daily paper. My intent was to create a humorous juxtaposition between the text (a nice visit to a home for the elderly) and the chaotic image.
Apparently in response to my retweet, I was blocked by @Austin_Police. This means that I cannot receive this important health and safety information in my twitter feed, and they cannot see any of my tweets at all. When one of my twitter friends tweeted at @Austin_Police asking them to unblock me, @Austin_Police responded with a tweet of a link to the city's social media policy, with no further explanation.
Having reviewed this policy (available at http://austintexas.gov/sites/default/…), there is no basis for blocking me from @Austin_Police's public twitter feed. The policy states that city accounts, if open to comments, should be set up "in a way that maximizes public comments." It does not provide for "blocking" citizens, though it does allow for the "editing" of comments that, for example, are pornographic or promote illegal activity. However, even if "editing" could be construed to allow "blocking," my retweet did not violate any of the stated prohibitions. In fact, as satire of a public agency, my tweet—as silly as it was—is protected political speech and should not be censored from what is unquestionably a public forum for discussion.
Please have @Austin_Police unblock @attachyderm. I believe it was wrong to do so, and wrong for me and my family to be deprived of this valuable source of public information. Thank you again for hearing me out.