ROTHENBURGER – Shutting down City’s Facebook comments is the wrong move
HERE WE GO AGAIN with Internet incivility. This time, the City of Kamloops has banned commenters from its Facebook page.
I think it’s the wrong move, but let’s look at the reasons. On Wednesday, the City posted a notice stating comments would be disabled due to “a decline in civility.”
This incivility, according to the City, “affects many things, including our staff’s mental health, job seekers’ perception of Kamloops, the spread of misinformation, and participation levels from those respectful users who are interested in understanding information about our programs and services.”
There’s truth in that statement. Words can hurt. When commenters get overzealous, they can over-reach. They forget to stick to the issues.
When you go into politics, you’d better have a thick skin, or grow one quickly. In this Internet age, it’s more necessary than ever before. You learn to roll with it.
And when you work for a public organization, you’ll need to do the same.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Perhaps the city should accept and respond only to comments whose authors have the courage to identify themselves. Anonymity is often cowardice…or the lack of substance,,,