On Sunday, Tom Benning reported that when he recently tried to follow @GovernorPerry, which is described as the "Personal Twitter feed of Texas' 47th Governor" and has over 30,000 followers, he received the following message: "Could not follow user: You have been blocked from following this account at the request of the user." So Benning called Perry's office:
I put in a call to the governor's press office, where Ashton Morgan told me the governor has sole control of his personal Twitter account. She added that she would try and get an answer as to why he blocked me.
This not being a pressing issue -- the governor is a busy man, after all -- I gave them a few days to respond. I had planned to follow up Monday.
But Benning then saw other journalists complaining about being blocked. Bud Kennedy of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram wrote: "Is it just me or has @GovernorPerry also blocked you from following him on Twitter? Hurt that I'll miss text on his next gig with Ted Nugent." KRLD's Scott Braddock wrote: "How many members of the Texas media are blocked from following @GovernorPerry on Twitter?"
On Monday, Benning updated his piece to note that Perry's Twitter blocking has come up as an issue before. In October, The Austin American-Statesman ran a piece on the gubernatorial candidates' social media habits and reported:
The campaign has multiple Twitter accounts. On the one he posts to personally, @GovernorPerry, he sometimes reposts tweets from followers and replies to messages. He says he blocks Twitter users who attack him with bad language, but he's also blocked a few progressive bloggers, according to a Twitter list kept by Katherine Haenschen of the Democratic news site Burnt Orange Report.
Perry's office told TPM they would try to get back to us with a response. For the record, this reporter was successfully able to follow @GovernorPerry this afternoon.