Table of contents
This entire page is really for like 5 people out of 100s of thousands who see my posts shared on Facebook.
- 42Freeway.com is a South Jersey based commercial news website focusing on new commercial construction, business openings, road projects.
- This is NOT a political election site for you to promote your individual political beliefs, theories, candidates, or to negatively attack public officials or private citizens.
Facebook supports a “Share” function and if you want to share my post to your profile or page and add “Keep voting in the same people and this is what you get” well I can’t stop you. Have at it!
Facebook Commenting Rules/Examples
Mark of 42Freeway feels VERY strongly that citizens should have a voice in government. It’s literally the core reason Mark became a web journalist when a large project was coming to his town years ago and no one knew about. In fact an effort will start soon regarding improving how local towns follow Open Government laws. Keep the people informed!
That being said, some individuals have their own strong unrelated political beliefs that go beyond the project and want to insert it into everything. There needs to be some guidelines around that.
Sample comments I am ok with:
- I love this! Can’t wait to try it out!
- Would be nice to have a restaurant there instead.
- Awwe they are closing? I loved that place.
- Another warehouse? We need to go to the town meeting and tell them we don’t want this!
Sample comments I am NOT ok with:
- Our mayor is a crook. They are getting paid for approving this project
- We need to vote in This-Other-Guy! He wouldn’t allow projects like this to happen
- It’s all controlled by So-And-So! Everyone is their puppet and this is why it’s getting built
- Keep voting in Whats-Her-Face and this is what you get!
Unhappy With A Project? Attend A Meeting!
So a little more about the above bold comment: Another warehouse? We need to go to the town meeting and tell them we don’t want this!
Expressing displeasure in a project is 100% ok! And also saying in a mature way “hey we should all go to the next meeting and share our opinions” is 100% amazing and ok!
As an example, a recent warehouse proposal in Gloucester Township has some residents wanting to voice their opinions to the town. They are rallying the community to attend a Zoning meeting and walked 100s of flyers to area homes. The Facebook comments on this post are directed at the project and bringing people to the meeting. No one is commenting “Keep voting in the same people this is what you get”. Helpful dialogue.
In other towns or articles, it seems for every project there is a person or two turning it into a political agenda. They’ll add in names of people who aren’t even office and blame them for the project. They’ll jump into why the local politicians are crooks. They’ll tout their favorite candidate to take over.
I one million percent support you in doing what you think is best for to the community.
But there is a time and place for everything.
And I am just an individual guy who doesn’t want to get pulled into your potentially liable theories due to association. I have my own battles to fight I don’t need yours.
Free Speech on Social Media
When defining what is valid commentary on the internet such as Facebook or web forums, someone will undoubtedly say their right to Freedom of Speech is being violated.
The reality is:
The First Amendment protects individuals from government censorship. Social media platforms are private companies, and can censor what people post on their websites as they see fit.Freedom Forum Institute, and anyone who has actually read something on the First Amendment
Facebook is privately owned. 42Freeway.com is privately owned.
Just like your home is a private residence. If someone comes to your private residence and you disagree with what they are saying or their actions, it’s within your rights to not have them there any longer.
So one area where rules of Social Media censorship is different is when the profile is for a Government entity or public officials.
This page of the ACLU New Jersey talks about when the Government uses Social Media.
In particular, when public officials use social media as government actors, the First Amendment prohibits them from censoring differing viewpoints.ACLU of New Jersey
So have you noticed that most local Government Facebook pages say “No comments please” and remove any comments?
It’s because other interpretations of Government use of Social Media have more of an “All or nothing” belief. If you let one comment in you have to let them all in, but it’s OK to remove all comments. Everyone is treated equally. (ACLU of Southern California)
Examples In Real Life
Because I am Mark and I like to ramble, how about some real world examples for those who still don’t get it?
Simply there is a time and place for everything. Mom taught us that when we were 5.
Here are just some examples I put together in other areas.
- Strong Opinion: Ticket fees for events are way too high.
- Time/Place: During the comedy show at the casino, the audience wants to hear the jokes from the comedian. While everyone may agree the ticket fees were too high, they don’t want you standing up in the middle of the Comedian’s show and yelling to everyone what you feel
- Strong Opinion: Pro sports players are overpaid while workers at the stadium aren’t paid enough.
- Time/Place: Watching a sports broadcast the viewer wants to hear commentary on the game. They’ll even listen to negative opinions about the team. While stadium work rights are important and connected to the game, viewers dont want that as part of the game commentary and absolutely not every game
- Strong Opinion: The Board of Education hires family and friends for well paid positions
- Time/Place: In an Foreign Language class at the High School, the kids want to learn the language. Parents want to know their children are getting an education in learning the language. So even if the Board of Ed is misusing their power, a student can’t stand up in class every day and tell everyone their beliefs. Inevitably the teacher is going to ask the student to sit down and be quiet.
- Strong Opinion: The mayor is no good, and needs to be voted out!
- Time/Place: 42Freeway presents new projects that need to be approved by the town. People want to read comments and thoughts on the project. Happiness and displeasure. Even though the town will have to approve, that doesn’t mean everyone wants to hear your personal beliefs on what a person should not be in office… or your favorite candidate should be.