Official Facebook Page Comment Removal; Censorship or Caution?

Byline: by Mallory Sunderland

Posted: February 24, 2013

On Mon, Jan. 21, the Wilson College official Facebook page updated with a message to all those who had posted on the site with comments on the changes regarding the Sun, Jan. 13 vote by the Board of Trustees.

The message states, “…comments on Wilson’s Facebook page were dominated by a small group posting multiple negative entries…” Because of this, all of the posts made about the Board of Trustee’s decision for the college to become a co-educational institution were removed.

Students and Alumnae/I React to Removal of Comments and Posts
A number of students and alumnae/I are angry at the removal of their comments and are viewing this as a bias against them. “Some of the alums who are commenting have donated money to the college though and I think it’s a really bad decision to ignore them as Wilson is in a bit of a financial crises,” says Victoria Maddox ’14.

The concern is that the administration is not hearing the voices of the alumnae/I and students.

Marketing’s View on Role of the Page

“We are not engaging in backward discussion,” says Brian Speer, the Vice President of Marketing and Communication. Speer feels as though negativity is not helping the cause. “The intent of the Facebook page is for people to share their Wilson experience and to get information on the college,” says Speer. Speer believes the Facebook page is not a place for uncivilized discussions, which were taking place, so he feels the removals were – and are – justified. Speer says the change has already occurred and there is no going back. “We are focused on making sure the experience stays and the doubters will see we are still doing this,” said Speer. Essentially, Speer is committed to seeing Wilson stay as it is, despite the changes.

Maddox says that even though she thinks the Wilson College Official Facebook Page is biased, she understands why, “…they’re trying to draw in new students and show the good side of Wilson.” Maddox believes that the comments would express a different opinion which the administration could potentially see as being negative to Wilson’s image.

Maddox was also concerned whether or not the F.A.Q., which was promised on the Facebook page in January after the removal of the posts, will appear. It was not posted at the date of this publication.

Speer said they would be releasing this very soon, however he wanted to address all of the questions before its release.

UPDATE 2/23/2013: The F.A.Q. has been posted.

Last Updated: February 24, 2013

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