November 3, 2014

Congressional candidate Carl DeMaio has blocked on Twitter several journalists who cover him. KPBS reporter Claire Trageser told Poynter she noticed she had been blocked on Friday, which was a couple days before she reported that a second campaign staffer had accused DeMaio of sexual harassment.

If you block someone on Twitter, they can’t follow you, among other indignities.

Joshua Emerson Smith, a reporter for San Diego CityBeat, said on Twitter he’d been blocked, too, after Trageser tweeted a photo showing she’d been blocked.

CityBeat Editor David Rolland told Poynter DeMaio “blocked my entire staff” on Friday. His own account got briefly suspended by Twitter that same day: “I suspect that the DeMaio camp reported me as spam,” he wrote in an email, adding that he thought it was possible whoever blocked him reported him unintentionally at the same time.

A couple weeks ago, Trageser reported that DeMaio had said he wasn’t terribly interested in speaking with “muckraking” outlets. L.A. Times San Diego bureau chief Tony Perry told her DeMaio’s campaign had recently denied an interview request. It was unhappy with a story he wrote that was published in May, Perry told her.

A DeMaio spokesperson has not yet responded to a query from Poynter about the strategy behind this practice, or whether his campaign reported Rolland’s account.

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Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City…
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