N. Idaho internet company sends mixed messages to customers about blocking Facebook, Twitter

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IDAHO — A North Idaho internet company is changing its tune, just hours after telling customers it would block them from accessing Twitter and Facebook.

The owner of Your T1 Wifi now says the message was misinterpreted.

Over the weekend, the internet provider sent an email to customers saying it does not believe companies, like the two social media sites, should block people like the president, and in turn would block those sites.

The email stated Your T1 Wifi had been fielding calls from customers voicing their concerns that they do not want sites like Facebook and Twitter to be displayed on the internet and they did not want their children accessing them.

“There are too many people that have called for us to do one at a time so we will be blocking these 2 and any other website that may also be Censoring whether it be through their algorithm they use for their site or any other means” [sic] the email read.

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Owner Brett Fink told 4 News Now the email was misinterpreted and the company would only block a website if a customer asks them to. Fink’s comments on Monday were in direct opposition to the email, which stated customers could call Your T1 Wifi to have those sites unblocked.

“So we have a solution if you or your family would still like to be able to connect to Facebook and Twitter please let us know and we can add you to the allowed list to be able to not be blocked from going to these sites and the ones that do not want to be blocked will have to do nothing they will just not show up,” [sic] the email states.

Fink also said they do not have a specific policy for Facebook and Twitter, though those were the sites mentioned in that email, as well.

The question is — is this even legal? Can your internet provider block you from looking at websites like Facebook and Twitter?

Simply: it depends. Idaho has no net neutrality laws and the government repealed its federal laws in 2018. Those laws prohibit companies from blocking or slowing down websites and content.

However, customers in Washington do have net neutrality protections and Your T1 Wifi does offer service to customers in Washington. 4 News Now has reached out to the Attorney General’s Office for more information.