By Amanda Wernik
Is recently resigned former San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon a victim of online hate speech or a politician who censors people that disagree with her? The truth lies somewhere in the middle.
Harmon said she does not think elected officials should have to “grow thicker skin”.
“I reject all of that completely. That is not how we should be treated, period,” Harmon said.
However, Harmon’s own social media behaviors have also been called into question.
Coast 104.5 and Krush 92.5 radio host Adam Montiel said Harmon blocked him from her Instagram account after he corrected her post on COVID-19 social distancing guidelines.
“The mayor at the time definitely tried to curate a social media platform that was an echo chamber of people she agreed with,” Montiel said. “The problem was she’s doing this on the account that she had designated and used as the pedestal as her mayoral account.”
Montiel also said he believes that Harmon was dishonest about who she has blocked on social media. In response to public records requests, Harmon submitted a list of blocked users, which Montiel said appear to be zoomed-in and cropped.
Harmon denies such accusations.
“Anytime I’ve had a public records request I have turned those over in full,” says Harmon, “People accuse me of deleting comments now, but if you look at my page you’ll see tons of horrendous comments, so clearly I’m not deleting them.”