Folks I’ve never understood why newspapers couch a story around a massive fib, especially when they know it is a fib. Monday night’s workshop witnessed a number of transparency errors but what interested me most was insubordinate City employee Jerry Beaugez, a crony of Mayor Fillingame arguing with the City Council after being given a direct order to stop streaming the workshop on Facebook. While such an order against a member of the public would certainly be an ethics no-no, a City employee faces a far different set of legal questions vis-a-vie the exercise of free speech while on the taxpayer’s dime. Let’s start with the massive falsehood Beaugez told to Dwayne Bremer of the Echo:
One possible reason for the council’s concern is that there have been accusations that Facebook comments were being edited or deleted to reflect only “pro-Fillingame posts.”
Beaugez said anyone can see the comments on Facebook and they could not be edited or deleted. He said that the Facebook settings are set to not allow vulgarity, but the administrator cannot delete or edit a post.
Individuals, however, can delete their own personal posts, he said.
Beaugez also argued that the meeting was public and that other entities such as local media are allowed to record meetings.
The owner of the Facebook page can delete any comment from anyone posted on it, as any 12 year old with a Facebook account will tell you. It’s real simple, simply mouse over the “x” on the upper right of the comment, click it and then confirm the delete. Since Beaugez is either a Facebook simpleton or a liar, can we discern which condition is the case here? I think so folks, mainly by presenting one of the comments deleted from the City’s Facebook page:
I’ve come to learn that when Mayor Fillingame uses the word transparency, that is the exact time to hold your wallets closest and tightest folks because he is invariably up to no good. Do we really want big brother in the social media business deciding which speech stays and which is tossed? Personally, other than guaranteeing our rights to Free Speech, I want no part of big brother in the media business as the potential for monkey business is simply too strong, as the Bay St Louis Facebook page and George Orwell illustrates so well.