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Yesterday on Jan. 29 Muskoka Post published an opinion piece written and sent in to us by Kayla McDonald. The context of the article was in relation to an increase in public shaming and online bullying she and other community members have been witnessing on a local media outlet's social platforms. If you have not yet had the pleasure of reading this well articulated op-ed we have provided the link here; https://www.muskokapost.com/post/op-ed-when-a-local-news-source-becomes-the-town-bully-what-can-you-do
Since then it has received some attention on our Facebook and Twitter and was shared by community members multiple times on both platforms. Below are reactions as well as personal experiences of some readers from across Muskoka after they had shared the article on their social media pages. Being passionate about her community and after witnessing the retribution which came following the release of the article Kayla along with others have begun using the hashtag #MuskokaWontBeBullied
Mark Fishman: "After liking the article as well on my personal Twitter and without me mentioning any names ... the individual, assuming it was about himself, emailed my place of work and cc’d the owner of the company threatening a lawsuit 😕 only proving the point of the article. But no one is apparently safe from his wrath and bullying #MuskokaWontBeBullied"
Jenn Morrison: "Thank you for this article. There are a lot of dangers with this kind of behavior. Some dangers that the average media consumer may not identify. This article really puts it into clear words the issues around this. I hope people will choose to advertise elsewhere. This is a shady operation. #MuskokaWontBeBullied"
Beth Grixti: "Jenn Morrison they have used language to subtly influence the reader for as long as I have known of them. I guess they’ve gotten more bold having no personal consequence for their actions. Having a police scanner and no ethics doesn’t make for responsible reporting. 😔"
Cerrie-Anne Allan-Harrison: "Thank you for posting this article and boosting public awareness that people are being bullied in our community!! This is the only way to fight something like this...nothing is stopping anyone from starting their own "news" facebook page and taking advantage of that platform for their own purposes. On Bell Let's Talk Day this couldn't be more appropriate!!"
Donald McDermott: "I have an idea of which " news" outlet this is. Anyone going to identify it?"
Chris Vanderbeek: "It’s a no-brainer. But publicly identifying the outlet in question, would be hypocritical of the message contained within the op-ed."
Kayla McDonald: "As a result of liking/commenting/sharing this piece, people have been the target of harassment and threats. However, seeing the community stand up and support one another only shows that we're achieving the goal of this message #MuskoksWontBeBullied
Agatha Farmer: "If you live in Muskoka and are on social media chances are that you might have seen an article I chose to publish yesterday written by a life long Muskoka/Severn community member regarding public shaming and bullying which is occurring via a local “media” outlet. There were a couple of friends in the local media industry and community which I discussed and consulted with regarding the issue and the article prior to publishing this piece. The consensus was that Kayla’s article articulated the problem well. I personally have experienced the public shaming and slandering directly a few times in the last few months. When Kayla asked me to work on this with her is when I really began to understand the scope of the issue and the adverse effects this behaviour is having on the community. So much of an impact that they are choosing to speak up about it. So we published the message. Kayla was careful not to stoop to slander or defamation while maintaining her point. We knew there would be backlash and there was. And so I just wanted to say THANK YOU to all the amazing people who wrote me emails and sent messages to express support, some thanks as they had been directly affected and some to let me know that my name along with others was being dragged through the mud yesterday. I’m a day late but #Bell I’m talking 😉 and I LOVE this community 🖤 here is the article in case you haven’t yet seen it, I’d thought I’d share it and maybe you’d like to as well and throw in the hashtag #muskokawontbebullied
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