Our recent post – we are posting more than one a day at present – has stirred up a bit of a media storm. No apologies from us here tucked up in our web – because anything that gets the voters out on Thursday has to be good news. Apathy worries us much more than angst.
Suffice to say – there was so much trouble at mill that the Godalming Community Board was forced to put out a health- warning due to a political storm. Just in case you hadn’t heard rival community boards are now in evidence in Cranleigh too, due to censorship by its Supremo – Batty Bamford. Here’s what prompted huge debate.
Below is an interesting attendance record of G Town Council meetings. So Ms wannabe Waverley Cllr Walden hasn’t attended that many town council meetings. As you will see ‘Where’s Welly’ and Peter Martin don’t rock often either. Here’s his borough council record Where’s Welly?
Here’s the message from the Godalming Admin Board to its 16,933 members.
Important Message from Group Admins
Dear 16,933 members of this community board. I would like us to cast our minds back to a couple of years ago as to why this community board was created.
The other community board was and I think still remains controlled by primarily conservative council supporters.
On that board, a huge number of people were banned that had made open and honest criticisms about some council decisions. Many people including a large number of conservatives supporters were also banned for the most menial of reasons.
This community board, managed by 11 administrators from a mix of political leanings, was set up in direct response to the harsh and unfair moderation and censorship on the other board.
Over the past few days, there has been a huge amount of criticism and piss-taking on this board of some very fragile conservative council members leading to the following letter.
Now if we have organised 17,000 trolls which in itself would be an impressive feat of social engineering, then so be it.
We do however feel that people on this board simply have more freedom to say what they want, and that is upsetting people in conservative HQ because it does not fit the desired narrative.
Certainly, two members of this board were muted for 48 hours for being abusive to Cllr Paul Follows by the board’s admins and subsequently unmuted again.
It was also stated by Tristan hopper that a conservative council member Kirsty Warden is banned from this group – I want to be clear that this is absolutely not the case, she is not banned, has never been banned and will not be banned unless she is a very naughty lady.
It has been stated that council members have been banned from this group – nobody in this group will be banned for any political opinion of any sort and never has been and never will be, left, right or centre.
We do have rules regarding organisations & businesses only posting once a week, repeat posts will get taken down.
There has obviously been a great deal of frustration regarding the last minute social media push of some political parties that have remained dormant joining local groups and excessively posting (some as late as this evening) when members of other parties have been involved in the community and the group and respected the rules.
Similarly, there has been a significant amount of pressure applied to some groups dishing out harsh criticism to Waverley council including the fire cuts and health cuts response groups, if you are a member of those groups including the whistleblowing group in the fire service now is the time to share.
If there is a council member that is banned from this group please let us know and we will immediately reinstate them as long as they adhere to the rules in terms of business promotion.
Finally – I would like to invite all of our conservative council friends again, for probably the fifth or sixth time, to go through the posts on this community board and one by one address all of the issues and concerns raised by the members of this community on every single thread, engage meaningfully and tell everyone what you are doing to resolve the many issues raised on this board.
It does seem that there is an anti-conservative feeling from public opinion at a local and national level, it would seem some voters now feel politically homeless.
On that basis, I would like to invite members of this online community (because it is your community) to publically comment on this letter from Ged Hall written to the local press and passed to us today.
Your opinion either way is welcomed because we do have freedom of speech, and we as all of the admins on this group, even the blue ones, are of the sincere opinion that the ability to express your views are incredibly important, no matter what they are. Some of the admins, including me, will personally respond in comments. Thank you.
Here is that letter –
The election of Waverley Councillors for the next term on Thursday has led to some healthy debate about local issues in all areas of the borough both online and in the written press. Usually, these debate (sic) are held in a frank manner with both sides getting their tuppenceworth in and often concluding with both sides agreeing to disagree, meanwhile onlookers can hear & see both sides of a debate and make up their own minds on the issues at hand. The ability to speak freely regarding local issues, to fact check, counter, retort, prove and disprove are very essence of local discourse.
The expansion of social media has led to an unwelcome threat to this honest and open approach upon which we have historically based public debate. Some community pages have implemented blanket blocks on all politics, which is of course fair to all sides – but on certain key community pages across the borough the administrators or “Admins” have removed posts, candidates and factual challenges to give unfair advantages to particular candidates and parties. When key election claims have been disputed, the comments are removed, when posts displaying evidence to the contrary are shared they are blocked and when somebody dare speak a point which does not concur with a particular party’s position they are aggressively trolled, a process by which 20+ people add such comments as “stick pins in your eyes” or “people like you are vermin”.
The combination of politically motivated “Admins” removing posts, aggressive organised trolling and the blocking of candidates from presenting alternative positions are in themselves bad enough but the implications of certain political parties arbitrarily removing the rights of Waverley residents to view balanced discussion online by acting as self-appointed gatekeepers of their own opinions is, in my view, ethically shameful.
Conservative Deputy Leader – Waverley Borough Council
But-here’s what the Conservative Deputy Leader posted earlier.
So someone inside ‘Your Waverley’ has cottoned on at last?