BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) – Politicians are now using twitter more often to get out their message and engage with their constituents. But when it comes to gatekeeping, one local representative is not afraid to block users he feels cross the line.
Representative Bill Flores is known for his engagement on social media. It's a way he quickly interacts with people here in the Brazos Valley. But more recently he's become known for hitting the block button.
"I woke up the next morning and I tried to see and I was ‘like well ok I'm blocked’," said Steven Locklair, a resident of Bryan.
Locklair says he was surprised to learn Flores blocked him on twitter for challenging the representative on the president's travel ban.
"I said ‘you represent me, I'm in your district can you please rise up and condemn these recent executive orders regarding immigration’," said Locklair.
Steven follows a group on Facebook called Indivisible. They encourage people to reach out to their elected officials and protest President Trump's policies.
"It's not necessarily too hard to be concerned about some of the actions that have been happening at the federal level and the state level as well and it kind of feels like, at least for us we'd like
to have our voices heard as well," said Locklair.
But Flores believes that's the problem. He says a growing number of group members are filling up their timelines and blowing up their phones.
"When we spend all of our time on the phone trying to answer the same question fifteen times from the same person that hurts a constituent that needs our help,” said Flores.
Flores also says it's the same for social media. Flores posts a list of ways a person may get blocked, banned or deleted.
They range from using profanity to tweeting the congressman comments that are unrelated or irrelevant to the conversation.
"We kind of have a rule; if you wouldn't say it to your grandmother don't put it on social media," said Flores.
Steven agrees the congressman has a right to block whoever, whenever.
"But I feel that as a constituent he needs to know where I stand,” said Locklair.
Flores says his team has no problem unblocking those who call his office with their concerns.