Sunday, March 6, 2011

Guest editorial by Donna Dawkin March 6,2011

Personal Insults are not News.
Hello Ralph and Anonymous posters,
I am writing to address the negativity that seems to fester within the comments section of this blog. Comments that degenerate into personal attacks accomplish nothing, By way of the internet is this really the glimpse of Tofino we want the world to see?
Ralph, you have the power to deny posting inappropriate comments. What about blacking out obvious personal attacks? Even when names are only hinted at, it is clear to most of us who the subject of a rant is. Most of these people live and work in this town, have families and children that go to the school here. I find it shameful that the Grade Two class has learned how to behave in public and yet your blog posters cannot. I am not asking for you to shield or censor a news item or commenter. If the post is accompanied by a proper signature, then let it stand... If you believe enough in your words to sign your post, then power to you. But I really think the line should be drawn at the issue and not include gratuitous slander. This is a news blog, meant to increase awareness of what's going on. Not a stage for personal attacks. Include the relevant information and black out the rest.
This isn't about which side I’m on, I feel the frustration of the water bill, seeming lack of forward progress for families and recreation options for children. My family and I love this town and the people we've met in the last 7 years. Yet, I can't believe that some of them might actually write such poison and post it like porn. It must be a thrill to be so daring.
The recent posts about the scooter ( which I don't think belongs on the beach either) were just defamatory (I believe there was a name tagged to one of those posts.). The previous owner is rolling in his grave? How can that be appropriate? I have read the posts about revoking staff housing from families. Included accommodation was a deciding factor for our family to take a chance and move to Tofino. It was part of the job package. I think many of us started here that way. Rental vacancies were at 0% not too long ago. Comments on this blog are not helping to promote stability, or hope for the future. It's just potty talk.
I'm not here to complain any of the current/past or future projects that happen in our town. Instead, I am protesting the complete break down of civility generated by that convenient anonymous button. People feel free to spew sewage without repercussion. I wonder, if they met face to face on the street, would they speak so forcefully and spitefully? Would they be so free and harmful with their words? I think not.
There are people in this town who stand up everyday and work for things they believe in. Whether all of us agree with them or not, they show up each day to be in the line of fire. I can only imagine what backbone that must take when all their detractors can hide behind the click of a button.
Ralph and Posters, please take some initiative and keep the comments topic related. Constructive criticism is always welcome and paves the way for change. Personal attacks behind the anonymous button are small minded and bitter. Ralph, I had been enjoying your blog and the news items you brought to the surface. If the personal negativity continues, I think I will go elsewhere for my news-bites.
I wish the anonymous posters a taste of what they sow. Karma.
Be the change you want to see in the world.
Donna Dawkin

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