(KJ.com PRESENTS) KINGSTON’S CASTAWAY: This is how I got marooned by a cyber-mob
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.”
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.
…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?
Maybe 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.
Thanks Wilson, this little talk has helped. Now, instead of talking to a volleyball with a painted face I’m going to start swimming.
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.