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Published On: Mon, Jun 24th, 2013

(KJ.com PRESENTS) KINGSTON’S CASTAWAY: This is how I got marooned by a cyber-mob

kingstoncastawayw2

It’s been about a week since I was forced to walk the plank by an angry cyber-mob of local residents and became the first–and only–Kingston resident to be banned from Town Locals, a nearly 1,000-member Facebook page dedicated to all things Kingston.

The reason I gained this dubious distinction?

Instigating negativity. (…that’s a new one…)

And those aren’t my words, those are the words of Town Locals administrator Ben Lovett.

“I have just removed a certain journalist from this group as it seemed all that was negative happening here was instigated by him,” Lovett wrote as he assured his unruly subjects that they should “not expect to see any KingstonJournal.com postings moving forward.”

Lovett continued, “while his opinions and swashbuckling articles have a place in the world, that place isn’t here.”

tribehasspokenJust like that, I guess the tribe had spoken….I was voted off the island.

And what a way to go, especially since cyber-bullying has recently become a hot topic in Kingston with Jeanette Pasquale’s empty accusations that Selectman Dennis Randall has “bullied” her on Facebook.

Only 24 hours before Lovett handed down his ban, I read along with many of you as perennial-local candidate Peter Boncek made me the target of his low-skull doggery, accusing me of abusing prescription drug medications and doling off the government.

I read in horror as Boncek tried to humiliate me in front of my hometown for “crying to the police” after comments with usernames like “stop snitchin” and “anybodyz killa” appeared underneath a 2012 feature story calling for the arrest of the unknown party who provided Richard Boucher with the .40 caliber pistol he used in a 2010 North Plymouth double shooting.

“The day I saw you at the town house to give a statement to The Kingston Reporter you look like you were ready to cry and per [sic] your pants at the same time,” Boncek wrote before telling me to “get a real job” and “stop playing make believe reporter.”

Are you still with me Jeanette Pasquale? Because that’s cyber-bullying, that’s harassment and that’s defamation.

I told Boncek that his words would probably end up in the Journal but, after realizing that the perennial candidate’s recent comments show he has apparently given up any hope of once again contending for office, I decided not to give Boncek the attention he so desperately craves.

kingstoncastawayYet, here I sit. Marooned as a castaway in my own hometown; labeled as a spammer for posting journalism relevant to Kingston and dubbed an instigator of negativity…

…and talking to a painted volleyball named Wilson.

Jeez, I must be a pretty bad guy.

But wait a minute. What does “instigating negativity” even mean?

Was it my fault that the first selectmen meeting I ever covered in Kingston was a shouting match, complete with Boncek aping the board’s chairman from his seat?

Was it my fault that families have been complaining about Kingston’s wind turbines for over a year and have logged emotional pleas with local boards for regulation?

wilson1Maybe I’ve been talking to Wilson too long but I’m beginning to think that either I’m the cause of Kingston’s negativity or I’ve become a scapegoat for the reason people in Kingston cannot talk about issues without being snarky, snide and insulting.

What’s that Wilson? You think it’s the latter reason too? We both agree!

Thanks Wilson, this little talk has helped. Now, instead of talking to a volleyball with a painted face I’m going to start swimming.

towncommonsTOWN COMMONS ~ Kingston MA

Since getting banned last week, I’ve created an alternative Facebook group for Kingston called Town Commons ~ Kingston MA.

Within two days, the non-restrictive Town Commons has already ballooned to more than half the size of Town Locals.

By creating Town Commons, I’m not trying to recreate Town Locals. I’m trying to make it better.

The concept of Town Locals as a place for all Kingston residents was noble but when even one member is unjustly marooned off the ship–the purpose of Town Locals as an all inclusive group has self defeated.

In this case, that marooned member happens to be me.

If I can get banned from Town Locals without warning, you can get banned without warning. It really depends on what type of mood Ben Lovett is in that particular day.

Town Commons ~ Kingston MA is a group for all Facebook users with any affiliation to Kingston, whether it be as your current or former town of residence or employment. Even if you have never lived in Kingston but just like what our town has to offer, there is a place in Town Commons for you.

Local businesses, campaigns and non-profits are encouraged to harness the potential of Town Commons ~ Kingston MA to reach new audiences by starting threads about their services or product. Unlike in Town Locals, commercial postings which advertise the venues that drive our local economy will not be considered spam.

Simple town meeting rules apply in Town Commons and users who insult or demean others will be given a warning. If the user continues with insulting language they will be given a one-week suspension.

If the user continues with insulting language upon returning from a suspension, they will be banned permanently.

Provided that users can follow that one simple rule, there will be a place for everyone in Town Commons ~ Kingston MA…even Peter Boncek.

Goodbye Wilson.

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  1. misguided rationale for banning says:

    Brad,

    What is obvious to me is that you are not the source of negativity as Mr Lovett quickly judged (in obvious response to pressure from a very simple minority of town locals antagonists). No, you are not the source of negativity you are simply the reflection of problems the town needs to deal with. When town officials do not behave in a professional manner then chaos ensues. That has been the case here, you write about it and the focus gets shifted to you…that is unfortunate as the problems you write about still exist…

    See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil (replace the word evil with injustice or whatever you like) that is no way maintain a healthy vibrant community…evil/injstice/wrongdoing needs to be addressed, and quickly!

    If situations are allowed to fester then infections grow more difficult to treat.

    There have been several situations that have been allowed to fester, and there are always those individuals that seem to thrive on adding to the problems. (the antagonists)

    The person who spoke last week at the Selectmen’s meeting added to the problem…she has been all over the map in claiming the residents need relief then claiming they are making up their distress…she is the most recent example of a single individual that adds to the problems rather than helping provide a solution…she outright made it known that if a “few people in town” are adversely impacted then the idea that there might be a greater good boils down to allowing the suffering to continue. The greater good argument is not at all how healthy vibrant communities thrive…protection for all residents should be the operating theme. ALL RESIDENTS DESERVE RESPECT AND PROTECTION FROM HARM

    Calling you, and you alone, out as the source of problems (negativity) is a red herring…a distraction that gives a small number of individuals some satisfaction that they have somehow won.

    Good for you in making lemonade out of lemons!

    Silencing voices and issues of concern is somehow unAmerican in my opinion.

    Stay civil and remain honest, nothing to lose except the support of antagonists.

  2. Tom Augello says:

    I guess I was banned permanently too. This morning the group disappeared from my timeline and no longer shows up in Facebook searches, lol. Kinda Creepy. I’m pretty sure that my sin was to criticize the decision to ban Brad. When I did, Peter Boncek scolded me for linking to Town Common and using Town Local to discuss issues; then he linked to his own new site, haha. Pretty soon after I was “disappeared.” Maybe Ben Lovett and Peter Boncek are the same person?

  3. Reader of Both says:

    Brad-

    I enjoy reading both the town locals page and your journal, although each for a different reason. I view the Town Local page as a quick, lighthearted reference for things going on in Kingston. For this reason, I support the ban (although I would have hoped for additional user bans to that page as well).

    On the other hand, I believe that you are extremely passionate about our town and your profession, and it shows in your journalism. I don’t always agree with your views, but I appreciate your outlook and truly admire your knowledge. I have bookmarked your site and plan to read it often!

  4. Wilson says:

    Well Brad – you can at least take some comfort in the numbers – Peter’s ‘Open Forum’ has 26 members. The ‘Town Commons’ you created has 512 members and is still growing.

    Peter Boncek is all by his lonesome trying to stir the pot with negative posts about the new town administrator and the possible lawsuit against a selectman by a disgruntled turbine advocate.

    The ONLY person posting to that group is Peter himself. 8 posts with no reply by anyone.

  5. Publius says:

    hey brad how about some news