Canadian Politician Removed From Provincial Assembly For Threats She Didn't Make On Facebook Group She Didn't Join
from the wut? dept
We've heard stories in the past about people being blamed for the comments of others on Facebook groups, such as an attempt to hold parents responsible for the groups their children join. While my position is that such blaming is reactionary and silly, there is at least a modicum of a tangential relationship between the parties. So what should the response be if such a relationship doesn't exist? What if someone is added to a group without their knowledge and members of that group advocate violence? What should be done then?
Well, if you're a member of the Newfoundland House of Assembly in Canada, apparently you are removed from the house of assembly proceedings entirely. Such was the case with Gerry Rogers.
Earlier Tuesday, Justice Minister Darin King said Rogers was a member of the Facebook group Kathy Dunderdale must GO!!! in which users had posted comments containing death threats against the premier.
"What kind of message is that sending to the people of the province, to our children in the province, when we talk about bullying and harassment and intimidation?" said King.Bullying? Well, the definition of the verb is "to treat abusively; to affect by means of force or coercion." Call me crazy, but it seems to me that forcing someone out of the duties of their elected office as a means for coercing them to apologize for something she had absolutely nothing to do with sort of meets the criteria, doesn't it? That's exactly what happened here, as Rogers aptly contends.
"I did not join this Facebook group," Rogers told reporters during the recess. Rogers said that she thinks that the government does not understand how Facebook groups work. "I was added to this group without my knowledge, without permission, and by somebody that I do not know," said Rogers.Premier Kathy Dunderdale, against whom the threats were made, responded specifically to that point, insisting that the government did indeed understand how Facebook groups operate, but it's up to each member of government to monitor all the comments on all the groups they belong to, whether they had chosen to belong to them or not. She also said:
"I'm not going to be bullied or intimidated into doing something that I don't think is in the best interests of the people in this province," said Dunderdale.No, Madame Premier, that privilege appears to be reserved for Gerry Rogers, and the people she represents, I might add, unless your government wants to rethink its concepts over whether to blame people for the actions of others.