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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: #FreeThemAll group protests for prisoner rights in Abbotsford

About 20 participate in car demonstration outside of Matsqui Institution on Sunday

Abbotsford Christian’s Meinen named 2A all-star

Zach Meinen named to provincial all-star squad for 2019-20

Abbotsford football star Samwel Uko dies at age 20

Panthers star running back dies on May 21, cause of death not yet known

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

VIDEO: Suspected drunk driver caught on dashcam in Abbotsford

Police say they located vehicle, nearby intoxicated man, but couldn’t tie him to the driver’s seat

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

‘Not a joke’: Promoter wants to rocket-launch man the length of White Rock pier

Brooke Colby says he’s building an eight-foot rocket in his backyard

RCMP confirm man dead in Chilliwack shooting incident

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

Boy, 2, left with ‘soft tissue injuries’ after being hit by car in Squamish intersection

Boy was release from hospital, police continue to investigate

Most Read