Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson has quit social media. (File photo)

B.C. mayor quits Facebook, says it reduces discussions to ‘schoolyard slurs and bullying’

Bob Simpson wrote about his decision on the city’s website

Quesnel’s mayor has decided not to return to Facebook, after quitting at Christmas, saying the rumours and vitriol spread by users defeats any benefit it may have to his community.

In a column post to the city’s website, Bob Simpson wrote that he embraced social media in its early years, hoping it would help get people engaged and better informed.

Instead, he wrote: “Social media has been implicated in the deliberate spread of disinformation, the selling of people’s personal information, active profiling and discriminatory practices, and has been methodically used as a tool to interfere with democratic elections in multiple jurisdictions.”

Simpson has long been a prominent figure on social media, often tagged in posts by members of the community who ask him questions or make suggestions about the city.

He decided to take a break from Facebook last Christmas, deactivating both his personal account as well as his mayoral page.

During his holiday, he said he realized his mind was quieter than usual, no longer fixated on ignorant Facebook comments and composing a rebuttal in his head.

He hasn’t returned to the site since.

READ MORE: New system to deliver evacuation orders, boil-water notices

“People’s use of these platforms to spread rumours, disseminate patently false information, and bad mouth people (not just politicians) vastly overwhelms any good this mode of communication may provide in any community,” wrote Simpson.

“Facebook and other social media platforms have negated one of the first principles of personal and professional communications: Deal directly with the person or organization to get clarity or to remedy a concern or complaint.

“It has also diminished community dialogue to schoolyard slurs and bullying; too many adults use language and intimidation tactics on Facebook that they would never accept from others or use in face to face communications.”

In closing, he said it would be quicker to solve an issue by calling City Hall than to simply complain on Facebook.

“If you have an issue with council or with the city, talk to us and let’s engage in real dialogue about your concern based on factual information.”

If residents are looking for information during emergencies, they can sign up for the city’s emergency notification system at www.quesnel.ca/emergency-notification. You can also follow the Quesnel Cariboo Observer on Facebook.

You can read Simpson’s original column here or in the May 1 print edition of the Quesnel Cariboo Observer.



community@quesnelobserver.com

Like us on Facebook

Just Posted

Early budgeting approved for new Williams Lake Fire Department ladder truck

If ordered in 2020 it will take about three years for the new ladder truck to be delivered

Downtown Williams Lake invites community to Spring Into Downtown

The inaugural Spring Into Downtown festival comes to the lakecity this Saturday

Stampede Street Party endorsed financially by city council

A group of business owners and volunteers stepped up to organize the annual event

Lakecity plays host to North Central golf zones

For Pierce and Kerley, it was their first competitive golf tournament

Is vegan food a human right? Firefighter who fought Williams Lake wildfire says so

Adam Knauff says he had to go hungry some days because there was no vegan food

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Sitting and sleeping on downtown sidewalks could net $100 fine in Penticton

The measure, which still requires final approval, would be enforced between May and Sept. 30

Survey finds 15% of Canadian cannabis users with a valid licence drive within two hours of using

Survey also finds middle-aged men are upping their usage following legalization

Convicted animal abuser Catherine Adams to return to B.C. court in July

Catherine Adams is under a 20-year ban on owning animals, from a 2015 sentence in Smithers

B.C. man killed in logging accident ‘would have done anything for anyone’

Wife remembers 43-year old Petr Koncek, father of two children

Ottawa spending $24.5M to research on health benefits, risks of pot use

$390,000 will fund two cannabis public awareness

Crackdown on money laundering does not include federal public inquiry: minister

An independent report commissioned concluded $7.4 billion was laundered in B.C. last year

Most Read