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20 Responses

  1. Peg says:

    very clever!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. As I’d mentioned to Charlie, I pick and choose where I will post online. I’ve posted here, at Pars Nova, Upstream, Krabcakes and Football, and even Mark Robarge’s now defunct site. I post regularly on FB. I appreciate discussion with individuals I respect (but don’t necessarily always agree with me) that have opinions I value. The rest of the local offerings are so relentlessly negative and devotedly misinformed, why bother even reading them? The last Amsterdam blog that espoused a continuously embittered harangue, slowly died of its own poison. Even the host couldn’t stand it anymore.
    Any one of us can complain and I am not beyond this practice. I aspire to better myself and get beyond this self-indulgence. It will take vision, optimism, research and thoughtful discourse to orchestrate a beautiful future. I prefer to join with the singers in that chorus.

    • BTW, I do appear on the local radio programs when invited. Local talk radio appeals to a completely different demographic than the bloggers and I accept the opportunity to get my message out to those folks. Once I leave the studio, I’m done. I don’t have time to listen to the radio as I am working, and I cannot control those that disagree with me. Better to spend my time more productively. I’ve got a job that requires all of my attention and effort, and for that, I am very grateful.

    • There is a difference between communication through discussion and outright censorship. The City of Amsterdam Facebook page, created and maintained using public funds has whitewashed comments to only include those that favor or praise the Mayor’s opinions. I have personally had all of my comments removed from the city run Facebook page and I have been locked out from commenting.
      The page, labeled as a governmental organization, started running advertisements for local business owned by those who support the Mayor. Two of the local business owners advertised are also elected city officials. My inquiries sent to the Mayor about the comment policy have not been answered. Corporation Council G. DeCusatis sees no ethical violation advertising local business owned by elected officials on a Facebook page created and maintained using public funds.
      I believe that a city run site should not discriminate, that every taxpaying citizen has a right to voice their opinions whether or not they agree with the Mayor. I further assert that a governmental organization should not be advertising private business unless every local business is afforded the same opportunity.

      • The FB page is free and is updated on my personal time.
        Every business and community organization is welcome to submit openings or events. We do run “advertisements” in the traditional sense of the word.
        The page is not a blog. It was created to share information and showcase Amsterdam’s finer attributes. There are plenty of local blogs that will accept your opinions.

      • flippinamsterdam says:

        Jerry,
        I’m not following your argument here. The city’s FB page is not a forum on which to air grievances against political candidates or any community group for that matter. As you are seeking guidance on policy, let me offer the following policy from the City of Seattle regarding social media (bold and italics are mine):
        The best, most appropriate City of Seattle uses of social media tools fall generally into two categories:
        As channels for disseminating time-sensitive information as quickly as possible (example: emergency information).
        As marketing/promotional channels which increase the City’s ability to broadcast its messages to the widest possible audience.

        And here is how they ‘censor’:
        Users and visitors to social media sites shall be notified that the intended purpose of the site is to serve as a mechanism for communication between City departments and members of the public. City of Seattle social media site articles and comments containing any of the following forms of content shall not be allowed:
        Comments not topically related to the particular social medium article being commented upon;
        Comments in support of or opposition to political campaigns or ballot measures;
        Profane language or content;
        Content that promotes, fosters, or perpetuates discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, age, religion, gender, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, national origin, physical or mental disability or sexual orientation;
        Sexual content or links to sexual content;
        Solicitations of commerce;
        Conduct or encouragement of illegal activity;
        Information that may tend to compromise the safety or security of the public or public systems; or
        Content that violates a legal ownership interest of any other party.

        Municipal Web sites, FB pages, and media communications are by intention established to promote a marketing, promotional and informational purpose. I challenge you to find one municipal FB page or Web site that allows an unmoderated forum to critique local politicians, departments and organizations. By your reasoning, when the city sends out its informational flier on the water treatment plant showing the levels of chemicals and carcinogens in the water, I — as a tax payer who pays for the plant and the paper and the postage– have the right to annotate that document with my own commentary? Is that ‘censorship’ as well?
        A final and serious quibble: to draw equivalencies in terms of censorship between the Qaddafi regime and the current administration suggests that you’re equating your plight to that of protesters in Lybia. Seriously?!

      • I meant to say: We do NOT run advertisements in the traditional sense of the word.

  3. The City of Amsterdam Facebook page was created by the Mayor’s Administrative Assistant on company time, so public funds were used to create the site. This is not a marketing site as it is used for public announcements as well. People are free to post their “happy happy” comments, but those of a serious nature get deleted and the user blacklisted from the site. That is discrimination.
    Flippin’ my point is that if comments are allowed at all, they should be available to everyone. This particular site does not have posted rules, so I do not see how rules from another municipal site apply here, nor do I agree with your interpretation of what the rules should be.
    The Mayor states:
    “Every business and community organization is welcome to submit openings or events. We do run “advertisements” in the traditional sense of the word.”
    The page is not a blog. It was created to share information and showcase Amsterdam’s finer attributes. There are plenty of local blogs that will accept your opinions.”
    How does one submit such openings or events for the page?
    If you claim not to run advertisements, what are they doing on the page?
    If it is not a blog and merely a showcase, why allow comments at all?
    My comparison of the type of censorship used on the Facebook page and that used in Libya was spot on.
    http://gskrocki.wordpress.com/2011/03/08/censorship-rears-her-ugly-head/

    • flippinamsterdam says:

      Jerry,
      I find little to agree with you here; I do agree with the need for a published policy.
      Still, for you to state: My comparison of the type of censorship used on the Facebook page and that used in Libya was spot on. cannot go unchallenged. As some context to your assertion, please look at this:
      “If you go upstairs to take photographs you will be shot and killed immediately,” – a Qaddafi spokesman, addressing the Guardian’s Peter Beaumont and other journalists. (from Guardian UK)
      So again, let me ask: “Seriously!?”.

      • You mischaracterize my statement, which was: “Libyan
        dictator Muammar Gaddafi used censorship by controlling local
        media. He only broadcast news of the Libyan people singing, dancing
        and praising him, while his citizens were storming the center
        square demanding his ouster.” My point being censorship by
        government officials has never had a positive outcome. Ann Thane
        has employed this type of censorship on her personal blog
        Amsterdancin’ and now has imported the same to the City of
        Amsterdam Facebook page. Thane asserts that the page is updated on
        her free time. I maintain that as Mayor, any official function
        performed for the city is not free time and does not make this page
        any less the property of the citizens of the city. Another problem
        I see here is that the Facebook page represents the opinions of Ann
        Thane and not the City of Amsterdam. Advertisements placed on the
        page for her friends and supporters appear to be business that are
        recommended by the city. When a business owned by Karin Hetrick, an
        elected member of the Citizen’s Review Board is placed on the page
        it looks as if it is a reward or payment for consideration in an
        investigation. It is very noble of you as a defender of Thane to
        refute my findings. I’m sure you will be able to get an
        advertisement placed on The City of Amsterdam Facebook
        page.

        • flippinamsterdam says:

          I think it is you who are noble as you refute your own arguments:
          Ann Thane has employed this type of censorship on her personal blog Amsterdancin’
          You claim her blog is ‘personal’ yet accuse her of censorship of her own personal blog? What does that assertion even mean?
          And sorry, to draw parallels of censorship to Libya demeans the term censorship and those fighting against it.
          You figured out my plan over the past three years of blogging — to get a free Facebook ad. Man, am I sly…

  4. karin says:

    Well, Jerry, I wasn’t going to comment on this, but you leave me no choice. First off, why are you only pointing out my store? I had posted my store’s reopening on MY FaceBook Page, exactly as wriitten, to my friends. I thought it was very nice of the Mayor to share, even though I did not ask her to do this, especially for some crazy reason YOU may think. You quote: “When a business owned by Karin Hetrick, an elected member of the Citizen’s Review Board is placed on the page it looks as if it is a reward or payment for consideration in an investigation” GIVE ME A BREAK – ARE YOU REALLY SERIOUS? I will ask her to remove this oh so disturbing post if it will make YOU happy. Really, Jerry, that is why so many people have blocked you from their FB Pages and Blogs. You seem to have way too much time on your hands and can only find fault in everything you write about. Lighten up already, this City is NOT a Correctional Facility and you are not the Warden.

  5. karin says:

    Jerry, I find what you are doing regarding a simple FB post to be dispicable! Here again we will have rumors flying all around the city because YOU obviously cannot help yourself. Who knew that when you become an elected official, you have to hide out in your house, never speak to anyone, not be allowed to have friends, own a business or be allowed to be a nice person. You are on the Zoning Board, have a blog, and seem to think its okay to post whatever you choose to post, no matter who it hurts. You are way out of line to “imply” anything. It may be good for your blog hits – but you have no idea what you are doing to certain people – or maybe you do, because that is actually the type of person you are, and I don’t associate with that kind of person, it’s too much of a drag.

    • Karin,
      I am not on the Zoning Board and it IS OK to post whatever I want. Freedom of Speech is a basic human right, one which is protected by the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution.
      I do apologize to Flippin” for sidetracking his blog post and I truly appreciate the fact that he does not censor. If Mayor Thane was more forthcoming with answering emails, I would not have sought input here.
      I will not take up any more of Flippin’s blog space.
      Karin, if you wish to trash me further, please do so on my blog where I have a page dedicated to this topic. I do not censor either.
      http://gskrocki.wordpress.com/

  6. karin says:

    Sorry – typo. I want to make sure I spelled the most important word right: DESPICABLE.

  7. Diane says:

    Flippin:
    On the Seattle site rules, it says “solicitation of commerce”. Would that not mean no to business advertisements? The fact that it is on there, would indicate the mayor has “approved” this business.
    I would agree there need to be some rules in place for our Facebood and Web page, as there are currently none.

    • flippinamsterdam says:

      Diane,
      We both agree! — a policy should be in place. I only used Seattle as an example, a very good example IMHO, but not our current policy so vetting current actions against someone else’s policy seems problematic. I cited Seattle not as the standard of what our policy should be but as a refutation of Jerry’s claim of ‘censorship’. That said, I see nothing wrong with promoting local businesses per Mayor Thane’s criteria: Every business and community organization is welcome to submit openings or events. The key word here is every.

      • Diane says:

        Flippen
        That would be a problem for Jerry to advertise his business, as he has been blocked/censored by the mayor and has no access.
        I plan on asking the alderman to step up to the plate and come up with some sensible resolution to this mess. Seattle’s seems fine, are there any more that you know of that can be used for examples?
        Thank you.

        • flippinamsterdam says:

          Diane,
          We have two or more separate issues here. Jerry has been ‘censored’ because he views the FB page not for what it is but for how it suits his purpose. As I’ve written and argued via the Seattle example, the ‘censor’ claim lacks basis. Note how Jerry cannot counter any of my examples or provide other municipalities that allow the forum he envisions.
          On the issue of policy, I like the Seattle policy but Seattle is a much larger city so maybe we could adopt one that is more community centered. Is it really so bad that local groups and businesses get a shout out for events and openings? This is different than advertising and per the mayor’s post, businesses cannot advertise on the site.
          We have so many more important issues locally so I’d rather the aldermen focus on that than our FB policy. Plus I will likely go mad as this issue gets politicized by the very same people who oppose any digital or social media strategy by the city. Remember ‘marketing’ is a naughty word so using FB or the Web site to market is naughty indeed.
          Why not simply ask the Mayor to outline the FB policy and see what she comes up with? Not all things need to be so politicized.

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