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POLL: Should Town Officials Shut Down Social Media?

Recent discussion about Facebook comments has opened a debate on how school and town officials should use social media.

Social media has been a hot topic of conversation at government meetings in recent weeks.

During the last Board of Selectmen meeting, and asked for apologies from other town officials for comments they made on Facebook posts.

Then, according to the Wilmington Town Crier, School Committee members had a discussion on the topic that lasted about an hour at a recent meeting.

The School Committee debate centered around posts made by followers of Robert Hayes' Facebook page that he uses to keep residents up to date on happenings of the board.

“It was not an opinion page. It was just the facts,” said Hayes, according to the Town Crier. “I think it is important to differentiate between opinion and fact finding.”

But several of the members believe that no good will come out of the use of Facebook as a school official. Hayes declined comment when contacted by Wilmington Patch, but said the discussion with board members has been positive and is ongoing.

Past comments on Hayes' page have since been deleted and users are no longer able to comment on his posts. After discussion at the meeting, a subcommittee will continue to hammer out a policy on the subject.

So what do you think? Is there a place for social media in government? How should it be used? Should a board member be held responsible for something that another resident posted on their social media page? 

Let us know in the comments section below and vote in our poll. As always, we ask that you remain respectful during debate and keep conversation relevant to the topic at hand.

Karl Ian Sagal July 27, 2012 at 01:58 PM
Mary D, I do not know why you feel I was offended. I simply did not know who you were insulting. Are you saying that the insults to me are not balanced by my insults back, or are you saying that I insult people, and they do not insult me back enough? I am having difficulty following you. Consider all the names I am called, and all the insults and lies told about me, then again say how you will not post, because I asked you who you were speaking about. To everyone else: Mary D. does have a great point. Look how easy it is to scare away people who would post, except that they feel they will be attacked when they do. This is what I say when I call for civility. Apparently, my saying that I could not imagine who SEAGAL was, was too insulting for Mary D. I think that a less acrimonious environment would foster more debate, not less.
Karl Ian Sagal July 27, 2012 at 02:09 PM
Gibbering Idiocy seems to be your specialty. Before you say that cartoon characters are not allowed into public meetings again, I suggest you take a good look at some of the past meetings in Wilmington. Town meetings of all sorts are populated by cartoon characters. Many are sitting behind the tables, others are standing at the mics. Most participants are concerned and relatively mature adults, but there is no lack of cartoonisms to be sure.
Linda July 27, 2012 at 02:12 PM
This forum is better than the Comedy Connection :)
Al Roberts July 27, 2012 at 02:15 PM
Thank you for being a friend Traveled down the road and back again (on a scooter) your heart is true you're a pal and a confidant I'm not ashamed to say I hope it always will stay this way My hat is off (a big black cowboy one), won't you stand up and take a bow And if you threw a party Invited everyone you knew You would see, the biggest gift would be from me and the card attached would say, Thank you for being a friend Thank you for being a friend Thank you for being a friend Thank you for being a friend If it's a car you lack I'd surely buy you a cadillac (with big longhorns on it) Whatever you need, anytime of the day or night And when we both get older With walking canes and hair of gray (or bald) Have no fear, even though it's hard to hear I will stand real close and say, Thank you for being a friend (I want to thank you) Thank you for being a friend (I want to thank you)
Matt Schooley (Editor) July 27, 2012 at 02:25 PM
Christine, Thanks very much for your feedback. I don't necessarily want to speak for other editors, but I know that I have seen cases on other sites where editors step in with a friendly reminder when debate beings to get contentious. My goal on the site is to make sure everyone feels comfortable commenting and sharing their opinions about issues. The best way to do that, in my opinion, is to try and keep personal attacks to a minimum. I let many comments remain on the site, but I also do have to figure out where to draw the line, which is what I am doing my best at. Thanks again for checking in, and if you ever have any questions don't hesitate to reach out. Have a great weekend! Matt
Mathew Jancsics July 27, 2012 at 03:01 PM
Guessing this topic will die down now that the Highschool Project has been Appealed yet again, though it begs the question at what point are the good people of this town allowed to voice their frustrations with a select few of vindictive spiteful people who apparently have nothing better to do than create strife and further burden this good town and townspeople with more aggrivation and now realistically costs. And Karl before you go into your holy high horse stance of "the law allows it"...just because our current legal system allows for it does not make their actions right or just, rather it highlights that every system has its failings....this being a clear example.
Kevin Mac July 27, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Lighten uo Carl Seegel
Linda July 27, 2012 at 06:39 PM
DO these negaholics care about the children of their town?
Karl Ian Sagal July 27, 2012 at 11:13 PM
Mathew, I agree. Them pesky constitutional rights are really annoying, ain't they! I want to know the details of the appeal before I decide if it is worthy of it's cost, in my opinion. (Of course, my opinion is not the one that counts here.)
Mathew Jancsics July 27, 2012 at 11:35 PM
Karl, it is actually rather laughable how ignorant you are and yet you continually attempt to convey this attitude of intellectual superiority...remind me where again in the Constitution it speaks to Land use, abutter rights and or the ability of people to file frivilous lawsuits to derail public projects.....
Al Roberts July 27, 2012 at 11:43 PM
Hat boy you are a buffoon. These are your friends and pals who are causing all of this damage in town. I guess blowing millions on the cost overuns and delay of a project doesnt matter to such a "fiscally responsible" person such as yourself. HAHAHAHAHA
Karl Ian Sagal July 28, 2012 at 12:37 AM
Al, My would be friend, you think I am a buffoon? Why would you want to be friends with a buffoon?
Steve H July 28, 2012 at 12:39 AM
Al you forgot pompous
Karl Ian Sagal July 28, 2012 at 12:56 AM
Mathew, I believe the 5th amendment to the Constitution includes the following text, truncated by me, but not changed, "No person shall be held ..., nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." These appeals are the due process of law. You do realize that our property includes our money, and our homes, and things that affect the value of our homes. I am glad I am able to provide you with laughter.
Mathew Jancsics July 28, 2012 at 01:23 AM
Karl, Again, please show me where it says in the constitution that this specific action is ratified? Using your own words they are not being deprived of life, liberty, or their property. If anything their property values only stand to increase. And yes your posts have provided me much entertainment, again thank you for that.
Karl Ian Sagal July 28, 2012 at 02:20 AM
Asked and answered. I am sorry if you cannot comprehend. A while back, someone suggested: "I strongly suggest you bone up on basic reading comprehension before asserting you are correct when clearly you have no clue of what your talking about,..."
Karl Ian Sagal July 28, 2012 at 02:22 AM
And Mathew, It should be 'you're' not 'your' when you speak of what "you're speaking about"
Mathew Jancsics July 28, 2012 at 02:47 AM
Keep dancing like the puppet you are Karl, not sure what is more pathetic, some of your criticisms especially when you have made a fair share of grammatical errors yet others don't waste their time pointing them out, or the fact that you felt a form letter was truly something wishing you to come back and post here. With that said, I ask again...please explain to me how the constitution has anything to do with these indivduals abusing the legal system to enact revenge on the citizens of this town and extort them further through what now will be very real tax increases... And again I point out that none of the supposed individuals will have any property removed from them. Please Karl, riddle me that...or should I still try to type slower so you can keep up
Steve H July 28, 2012 at 02:49 AM
type slower for him
Mathew Jancsics July 28, 2012 at 03:03 AM
LOL Steve, seems like the old adage "not the sharpest tool in the shed" is more than fitting with regards to the man in the hat.
Steve H July 28, 2012 at 03:07 AM
be nice, he might get upset
Mathew Jancsics July 28, 2012 at 03:11 AM
Steve, usually doesn't that just involve him running to moderators and complaining how all the kids are picking on him....where is that box of tissues and my tiny violin again?
Steve H July 28, 2012 at 03:14 AM
LOL , u are so right
Mathew Jancsics July 28, 2012 at 03:15 AM
What really gets me as either hillarious or tragic is that his dig at me for a grammatical correction is wrong...so to really slow it down for you Karl...you're is a conjunction for "you are", your denotes ownership, as in your stuff... Like I said before, really gotta bone up on that reading comprehension my friend, you've (you have) been weighed, measured, and counted and been found wanting.
Steve H July 28, 2012 at 03:25 AM
i guess it is more arrogance than knowledge
Mathew Jancsics July 28, 2012 at 03:29 AM
Not sure what it is Steve, all I know is every time I read a post of his all I think of is doing one of these.... http://hotnerdgirl.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/picard-facepalm.jpg
Steve H July 28, 2012 at 03:32 AM
LOL, that was great a few people here, make me feel that way
Karl Ian Sagal July 28, 2012 at 06:14 AM
Your is a possessive pronoun. Like your car. You're is a contraction for you are, as you said. You cannot possess a verb, like speaking. You are speaking. Your speech. Do not trust me. Type both into a proper word processor like Microsoft word, and see what you get. You can type as slow as you like. It does not change the English language. And I do make plenty of typos. There, you are correct. I was the one that said it was a form letter. You got that information from me, and one of your simple minded clique insisted I was telling a lie, which is something I do not do. You do not have to believe me. That is fine. You ask questions, and i answer them, and you deny the data. That is fine, makes you look brilliant. If you do not understand my posts, it may be because I am a dummy as you say, or it may be because you choose not to understand, or are incapable of understanding them. Either way, so be it.
Karl Ian Sagal July 28, 2012 at 06:18 AM
All I ask for is civility. You are wrong in your arguments, and trying to be insulting, but have not made it up to the level of annoying yet. Keep trying.
Mathew Jancsics July 28, 2012 at 11:59 AM
Karl, I have come to the conclusion that this has to be an elaborate rouse on your part. There is absolutely no way anyone could truly be this much of a character and make it through life, I just can’t believe it. Just think of the irony…. Here we were initially engaged in a discussion that touches on first amendment rights, which are protected by the constitution. Rights that you seemingly condone the committees infringing upon by suggesting that it is somehow reasonable that they draft and enforce a *policy* around acceptable use for an individual committee member that leverages social media as a tool for engage their constituents, because in your subjective opinion, policies are somehow like feet. And now you’re attempting to use the constitution as a defense/justification for supposed rights of individuals who are in reality exploiting local/state laws around zoning and environmental protection along with manipulating a less than perfect legal system so they may enact their revenge on a town that they in the minority against. Individuals, who using your own logic aren’t having their freedoms trounced upon, aren’t being restricted from life…liberty…or the pursuit of happiness, and who stand to gain from higher property values due to a major infrastructure improvement the town they reside in is undertaking. And if you again look back you will see that I was speaking of “your” posts, and “your” own words, not saying that you’re an ace-hat.

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