Portland State University Professor Bruce Gilley was blocked from a Twitter account run by the University of Oregon for saying “all men are created equal.” He has filed a First Amendment lawsuit to get his account unblocked.
On June 14, the University of Oregon’s Equity and Inclusion Twitter account tweeted a prompt on how to “interrupt racism.” The prompt said: “It sounded like you just said _____. Is that really what you mean?”
Gilley retweeted the prompt, writing that his entry for the blank was “all men are created equal.”
We obtained a copy of the lawsuit for you here.
According to the lawsuit he filed, the university’s communications manager for the division of equity, Tova Stabin, blocked him because of the comment. The complaint argues that Gilley was blocked because Stabin and “her employer disagree with the viewpoint … that ‘all men are created equal.’” It also alleges Stabin “believes that Prof. Gilley’s opinion is critical of her employer’s DEI ideology and she wishes to suppress his viewpoint.”
The lawsuit adds: “Blocking also removed Bruce Gilley’s ‘all men are created equal’ reply from @UOEquity’s timeline and prevented other users from viewing it or interacting with it, and with Gilley, including followers of the @UOEquity account.”
The suit notes that the University of Oregon does not have a policy on blocking users from its Twitter accounts and the “staff member that administers the VPEI Twitter account and social media has the autonomy to manage the accounts and uses professional judgment when deciding to block users.”