City council voted in camera Monday to turn off comments on its Facebook page

City of Nanaimo turns off Facebook comments

Decision was made in an in camera meeting Monday

The City of Nanaimo’s Facebook friends can no longer leave comments on that platform.

City council voted in camera Monday to turn off comments on its Facebook page.

The city recently received a number of comments it hid or deleted after posting on its page a series of videos meant to provide information and engagement about the 2018-2022 draft financial plan.

“Some of the comments that are returned, they’re not factual, they’re not about the budget, it’s more about personal attacks,” said Coun. Jim Kipp at Monday’s e-town hall meeting at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. “We’re finding with our Facebook page, it really should be a bulletin board where we send information out.”

He added that he doesn’t see a lot of validity in governance through Facebook.

Coun. Sheryl Armstrong said the city can’t allow people to be “very mean and vindictive” over Facebook and doesn’t think paying staff to monitor the page is a good use of tax dollars.

“We are liable for those comments,” Armstrong said. “I don’t think people realize that if we don’t follow up with some of them and remove them, we become liable.”

At an in camera meeting prior to the e-town hall meeting, a motion was made to take down the City of Nanaimo’s Facebook page unless comments could be turned off. The motion passed with only Mayor Bill McKay opposed.



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