“In 1885, Leonard Huxley, published The Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley, a memoir of his distinguished zoologist father. Included in this is T. H. Huxley’s account of a meeting of the X Club, which was a gathering of eminent thinkers who aimed to advance the cause of science, especially Darwinism:
“Talked politics, scandal, and the three classes of witnesses – liars, damned liars, and experts.”
Where’s the truth (or the lies) in the conversation about the number of spy cameras in Columbia?
The Extraordinary Give starts at midnight tonight – Your contributions will be matched when you make donations to the agencies that “do good” in Columbia and across the county.
“The countdown to the 2017 Extraordinary Give is on! On November 17, 2017 donations will be accepted at this site from 12 midnight – 11:59 PM as part of Lancaster County’s largest day of online giving. On that day, every dollar donated will be stretched by at least $500,000 from the Lancaster County Community Foundation,our Presenting Sponsors Rodgers & Associates and the S. Dale High Family Foundation, plus our generous community partners, to support the causes you care about!”
When you want to exclude the universe from your personal / non-government facebook page, you can. You can set up a group that excludes “outsiders” from seeing your posts and information.
A “closed group” is the digital version of communications incest or xenophobic thought.
“When you create a Facebook group you can make it Open, Closed or Secret. In an open group anyone can join and everything is viewable by everyone online, including search engines. In a closed group, admins must approve members and only group members can see posted content. Secret groups are, of course, secret. They are off the grid, don’t appear in members profiles, and only reveal information to members. That’s right, anyone on Facebook can now create their own private Darknet right from their profile page.” – PC Magazine
You can set standards and conditions for commenters on your facebook page. So you can block or remove comments. In essence, you can censor what appears on your page.
BUT if you are a government agency using a facebook or social media platform, the rules are different because of that pesky First Amendment.
This Indianapolis Star article reports: “Gov. Mike Pence was hotly criticized in 2013, when IndyStar reported that constituents suspected their comments were deleted from the governor’s official Facebook page because they were critical of Pence and his views on gay marriage. Pence later apologized.
“Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard was similarly blasted last year when citizens complained that their critical comments were deleted from his Facebook page. In Brainard’s case, the Facebook page was for his re-election campaign and therefore under his own control. But a government Facebook page is different and should be considered a public forum, experts and city officials say.”
Are there government entities that remove or block comments? Most certainly there are. Can a court find those kinds of governments guilty of abridging someone’s First Amendment rights? Of course.
This article at a law firm’s Website, “Five Tips for Moderating Public Comments on Government Maintained Social Media Pages, is good guidance. This is one of the tips: “Respect the right to free speech—including unfavorable criticism. – Speech may not be disfavored because it offends. A federal court in Virginia recently held that a county supervisor violated the First Amendment by deleting public comments from her Facebook page. The court explained that “the suppression of critical commentary regarding elected officials is the quintessential form of viewpoint discrimination against which the First Amendment guards. By prohibiting [a citizen] from participating in her online forum because she took offense at his claim that her colleagues in County government were unethical, she committed a cardinal sin under the First Amendment.”
Mark your calendar for Saturday, November 18, 2017 – 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM for the Columbia Historic Preservation Society’s Benefit Auction.