To block or not to block, that is the question

Cross Post from Facebook courtesy of @TParkEastleighN

"Should politicians block their opponents on Social Media?

I’ve committed to never block anyone on SM unless they’ve been abusive and/or threatening to me or my family, that applies not only to my political opponents but also anyone else.

I feel all politicians should make similar commitments.

The blocking of your opponents is especially pernicious because that allows them to post anything they wish about a person/party without giving them an equal opportunity to counter any claims.

This also means that anyone reading those claims doesn’t necessarily get to see a balanced argument.

What do you all think?"

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I don’t think politicians should block people either, and it’s one of things on the social media guidelines for local politicians. Or at least it will be if I ever get round to publishing them!

(I should add that I’ve been blocked by more than one local politician, and briefly a local party, on twitter.)

Why block when you can debate?

Banter is fine, but it doesn’t need to get personal.

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I take it you know what it’s about then?

That’s very much a false comparison.

You can (and indeed have done so) respond with your own leaflets. That’s normal campaigning activity.

You see the contents of our leaflets and we do not, could not, nor would not prevent you from producing & delivering your own.

However, your actions of posting in Eastleigh Neighbours, but blocking those whom you’re attacking, from seeing or responding comes across as both cowardly and not becoming of someone who wishes to be elected by his peers.

If you want to discuss issues I’m more than happy to but it needs to be on a fair and open basis without personal attacks & unfounded accusations.

I call on you to unblock your political opponents on Facebook so that proper debate can take place.

I believe you’re better than this Sam, please don’t prove me wrong. :pensive:

(post withdrawn by author, will be automatically deleted in 24 hours unless flagged)

It should just be common understanding between political opponents that unless someone has been abusive and/or threatening towards you or family, that you do not block them from your own personal page if you intend to use that page to further your political agenda.

This just seems the right and proper approach for all.

Therefore I call on you to unblock your political opponents on Facebook so that proper debate can take place.

I don’t know what you’re talking about to be honest. You’re not making any sense.

Suggest you get on with the role you were elected you do.

Let me explain…

Yesterday you shared a post from your political FB page to Eastleigh Neighbours using your personal FB page, concerning the old Simpsons gym. This has garnered much attention and comments, including some from you.

Because you have blocked myself and other LD councillors from your personal page, that means that we’re unable to see that post or to comment on it either.

Hence my call for you to remove the ban and allow proper discourse on the matter.

You’re not making sense to be honest. Lots of crazy accusations - you’re sounding paranoid.

You can keep up to date with the latest information here on The Old Co-Operative: https://eastleigh.online/t/samson-s-gym-demolition-and-replacement/750?u=sam4eastleigh

Nothing crazy, just asking you to unblock people from your personal FB page if you’re going to use that to share political posts on Eastleigh Neighbours…this allows everyone to have a level playing field and to discuss issues in a sensible and respectful way.

Hi @Sam4eastleigh, please could you clarify whether you do block constituents and/or political opponents on social media or not. If you do currently block people, will you unblock them or not?

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Sorry folks. You’re not being clear. Nobody is blocked from contacting me or reading my campaigns. You can reach me at:

  • sam@eastleighlabour.co.uk
  • Sam4Eastleigh (Twitter)
  • Sam4Eastleigh (Facebook)
  • Sam4Eastleigh (Eastleigh Online)
  • Sam4Eastleigh (Instagram)

All of my campaigns can be discussed on these forums and our community can contact me via them.

You can subscribe my our newsletter:

Request a telephone call or home visit:

Hello@eastleighlabour.co.uk

See our latest campaigns here:

The problem arises when you share from your political pages into Eastleigh Neighbours using your personal page as you did yesterday.

I very clearly explained that above.

Either don’t use your personal page to share political content or comments in Eastleigh Neighbours or unblock your political opponents.

It’s just fair play that I’m asking for, surely you cannot object?

This is going in circles and not a good use of my time - I’m at a charity event today and frankly this is a bigger priority than playing ‘he said, she said’.

Suggest you start working to make Eastleigh better rather than playing political games.

Anyone can reach me via these contact details:

  • sam@eastleighlabour.co.uk
  • Sam4Eastleigh (Twitter)
  • Sam4Eastleigh (Facebook)
  • Sam4Eastleigh (Eastleigh Online)
  • Sam4Eastleigh (Instagram)

All of my campaigns can be discussed on these forums and our community can contact me via them.

You can subscribe my our newsletter:

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So in short you’re refusing to do so, as someone who talks a lot about fairness that is very disappointing.

You know the issue I’m sure, it’s not about being unable to contact you it’s about allowing a fair discussion to take place on Eastleigh Neighbours.

Don’t forget if you unblock us you can also then participate in discussions we may be having in Eastleigh Neighbours too, and point out our failings. It works both ways.

Sorry if I wasn’t clear enough @Sam4eastleigh - do you use the facilities available on social media platforms to prevent people from seeing or replying to your posts?

For example, our MP has blocked me on Twitter, and I believe Eastleigh Council’s leader also blocks people on Twitter. I’m not as familiar with Facebook but it sounds like it has similar functionality.

No, nobody is limited from engaging with me on Facebook or any other platform. Moreover, I’m available across nearly all online platforms, inc email and also traditional routes such as door knocking and telephone.

All ways of engaging with me are below:

This is my final post on this subject because it’s a complete waste of time.

I feel like a rebel waiting to leave the Labour Party again at this point. I was one of the ones blocked on Facebook, I’m unblocked now. I feel really uncomfortable joining in with local Labour because of situations like this.

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Sam, on your post about Samsons Gym made yesterday on Eastleigh Neighbours, myself, Alex Bourne & Paul Bicknell are unable to see it & thus also unable to comment or reply to criticisms or points made by yourself.

That is not debatable, its a statement of fact.

Also factual is the reason, which is that you used your person FB profile to share the post from your political page & because we’re blocked on your personal page we are denied the ability to see or reply to it as stated above.

You’re an astute man who is social media savvy & works with technology in your day job, I find it hard to believe that you can deny the facts as I’ve presented them in this reply and those above.

Please take the honourable action and either refrain from using your personal account for political activity or unblock your political opponents.