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

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

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks at a press conference Monday, April 18. (B.C. Government image)
New COVID-19 cases tick down on the central Island

New cases held to single digits three days in a row

CVRD offices on Ingram Street will remain closed for another 14 weeks after flooding last month. (File photo)
CVRD headquarters closed for another three and a half months

Building significantly damaged during water leak

Victoria police are asking for help locating high-risk missing man Derek Whittaker, last seen in Victoria April 12. (Courtesy of VicPD)
MISSING: Police searching for Derek Whittaker, last seen in Victoria

Whittaker believed to be driving 1994 red Volkswagen Golf

The IIO is investigating after a police dog bit a man during a traffic stop near Ladysmith on April 17, 2021. (Black Press Media stock photo)
IIO investigating after police dog bites man near Ladysmith

RCMP dog bit man during traffic stop on Friday, April 17

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Families of two of three workers killed in a train derailment near Field, B.C., in 2019 have filed lawsuits accusing Canadian Pacific of gross negligence. The derailment sent 99 grain cars and two locomotives off the tracks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Families of workers killed in Field train derailment allege negligence in lawsuit

Lawsuits allege the workers weren’t provided a safe work environment

(New Westminster Police)
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured

Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place

South Surrey’s Paul Cottrell, who works with the DFO, tows a grey whale out of Semiahmoo Bay Sunday. (Contributed photo)
Dead whale floating near White Rock towed to shore for necropsy

Animal has been dead since at least April 15

Wickaninnish (Clifford Atleo) plays the drum while singing the Nuu-chah-nulth song on the court steps in Vancouver In a picture from April 2018. Photo credit, Melody Charlie.
Five western Vancouver Island First Nations celebrate legal fishing victory

Court ruling confirms Nuu-chah-nulth fishing rights in case dating back to 2003

Sunday’s storm rocked one of the ferries crossing Kootenay Lake. Photo: Dirk Jonker
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake

The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
Island Health seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

VIHA says Ladysmith-area Chakalaka Bar and Grill also violating water and sewer regulations

Most Read