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LETTER: Impact of fake Facebook profiles 'extremely disturbing'

It's 'unfortunate that the authorities are not yet doing anything about it, while these libelous and harassing Facebook posts ... continue,' says Oro-Medonte councillor

OrilliaMatters welcomes letters to the editor at [email protected]. Please include your daytime phone number and address (for verification of authorship, not publication). The following letter is in response to an article, titled 'Disinformation, fake profiles causing real issues in Oro-Medonte,' published Sept. 17.
The libelous, untrue Facebook comments against myself, other elected officials, and members of the public, by fake named individuals and hidden “group” names over a two-year period, while on council, is extremely disturbing and totally unregulated.

I must say generally that over my 40-year professional career, I have never experienced such hateful, vile comments that have been orchestrated to try to destroy several people's reputation.

Clearly the people behind these fake profiles and hidden “group” names are showing such cowardice, and lack of integrity. They are not looking to seek the truth, but to disrespect and harass others with their vitriol. Why are they not able to tell us who they really are? Who are they protecting? Themselves?

Perhaps one reason they are hiding behind fake profiles and hidden “group” names is they know that their comments can be considered libelous, and that could be a criminal offence.

These various Facebook groups continuously state that they are posting the facts, and yet provide segments of information only and automated video clips that state only their accusatory points of view. They slander certain people repetitively, with likely more to come. They protect themselves in a veil of cover, and take down people's posts that disagree with theirs. Democracy?

It’s really very unfortunate that the authorities are not yet doing anything about it, while these libelous and harassing Facebook posts against our constituents continue to grow and spread across our beautiful communities and beyond our township.

In my view, these Facebook sites with their fake profiles and hidden “group” names are out of control and should not be allowed to continue to maliciously harass our constituents at their choosing. I have not and will not get into a Facebook war with such fake named people. Perhaps the media can help us bring some pressure to bear to take these sites down.

Ian Veitch (Councillor, Ward 1)
Township of Oro-Medonte