Thursday, 21 April 2011

#elxn41 #cdnpoli #nwt Blogger "permanently banned" on #CPC Facebook page for "openly engaging a debate"

Election Briefs
Social media showdown

Katherine Hudson
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, April 20, 2011

#CPC #elxn41 #cdnpoli #nwt

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - George Lessard, who has been volunteering as one of CBC North's "Your Take" blogger, said he has been "permanently banned" from Sandy Lee's Conservative Party Facebook page.

Terry Halifax, a Beaufort-Delta Conservative campaign committee member, said he took issue with Lessard's new media coverage. He reported his concerns in a letter to CBC's ombudsman stating Lessard's coverage is biased, citing "condescending and disparaging remarks" about party candidate Sandy Lee. As one of the administrators of the Conservative Facebook page, Halifax banned Lessard.

"He joined our Facebook page and started openly engaging a debate on the page and posting some one-sided, in my view, views of the campaign," said Halifax. "I just don't think that there is a place for that in publicly-funded journalism ... I just wanted the CBC to take notice that we take offence to that."

Lessard said Halifax has a right to his opinion and has a right as a citizen to contact the corporation's ombudsman.

"I just find it rather odd that a political party, which is trying to garner as many votes as possible, closes its group to any one voter," said Lessard.

He said it is an "intolerable way" to treat voters.

"I am not a paid journalist from CBC. This is about just gathering people's opinions. I was asking for opinions on their side ... Well, the door got slammed in my face. I didn't like that very much," he said.

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