Unwell person incited to commit suicide – on David Cameron’s Facebook page.

The main issue here of course is the continued war against the sick, disabled and unemployed by the Coalition government. The situation the person found themselves in is, as many of us believe, merely the tip of the austerity iceberg.

Leaving this aside for the moment, there are two further issues that this incident throws a spotlight on. The first, is with the DWP employee who allegedly after hearing the distraught person’s threat of suicide, informed them that it was “their choice” to do so. I understand that suicide is a difficult subject to discuss, but surely we cannot be so devoid of compassion that we would simply dismiss someone so readily? Given the kind of situations DWP employees are likely to face, such as very distraught people, wouldn’t some training be in order to help them deal with sensitive situations better?

The second issue is the Facebook page belonging to David Cameron. Social Media in general I think is a god thing, promoting communication and disseminating information quickly being just two positives. However, it is also a place where bullying and threatening behaviour can go unchecked and sadly, can often be encouraged or at least, left unchallenged. If the PM has a Facebook page, then he should employ an agency or at least an individual, to monitor the pages for unsuitable comments. Having seen David Cameron’s page on many occasions, it would appear that either nobody does this, or that they are unable to adequately deal with the influx of comments.

Any social media professional will tell you that the only thing worse that not having a social media presence, is having which has no interactivity with users and posts without adding any value to its content. It could also be argued that in not moderating comments, the page is passively encouraging people to post comments which are inflammatory, abusive, threatening or just lain bonkers. I am admin for a Facebook site and I can tell you that I would never permit an abusive comment to remain on the page. If the poster did not resolve it themselves, I would do it for them and they would subsequently be banned from the page.

If these types of comments wouldn’t be tolerated on a Facebook page promoting a business, then what message does the Prime Minister’s page convey by doing nothing about it?

Advertisements