Starkville aldermen may ban smartphones during meetings

Twitter IpoSTARKVILLE – The Starkville Board of Aldermen may discuss Tuesday a proposal to stop members of the public from using smartphones or cellphones, tablets and laptops during its meetings.

If passed, the ban would take effect Dec. 3.

The ban would not apply to officials or media. The exemptions, however, do not apply to “Internet bloggers or anyone engaged in purely social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.”

Residents would pass through a metal detector before entering the board meeting. Those found in violation of the rule may be asked to leave. A Starkville Police Department representative will enforce compliance.

Opponents say the potential new rule would stifle public discourse.

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  • vechorik

    Why should members of the news media have a right to public information that citizens do not have? The discussed-ban goes against government transparency. If this comes to a vote, I hope there are enough Constitutional aldermen to realize they have to vote “no” for this. What is the board ashamed for the pubic to see?

  • Danny Lampley

    First it’s trying to find and prosecute people for using embarrassing parody twitter accounts; now it’s banning members of the public who are not “media” — as they define it — from using technology in a public meeting to report the meeting. Do these people realize that we lost the war and that Mississippi officials are still subject to the United States Constitution (not that it would be legal under the Mississippi Constitution either)?


    There must be more to this story. What has prompted the measure?