December 19, 2014 8:45 am -

The town of South Pittsburg, Tenn., just passed the most bizarre, China-like social media policy ever.

The town of just 3,000 feels picked on by social media, so it has barred anyone professionally connected to it from criticizing the poor, persecuted town that has never suffered from negative publicity until now.

Head in Hands

[su_center_ad]This really makes me want to say bad things about South Pittsburg and I’ve never heard of the town until now.

What makes this especially odd is that the town hasn’t received any negative publicity, but it sure getting that now. Naturally, Reddit users pounced and created social media accounts to counter-their new law..

“The first thing everyone wants to say is, ‘I can’t post anything on Facebook,’” the town’s commissioner, Jeff Powers said. “Well, you can. Just not [anything] that sheds a negative light on any person, entity, board, or things of that nature.”

“It is not a new concept,” South Pittsburg Mayor Jane Dawkins told Bloomberg Businessweek. Dawkins explained that the policy was mostly designed to stop people from posting employees’ salary information or police officers’ schedules on Facebook. “This lets people know that the officer’s spouse and children are home alone or that no one is at home,” she said.

According to Bloomberg, the South Pittsburg Police Department doesn’t appear to have much of a Facebook page, and it’s unclear if officers’ schedules have ever been posted online.

Times Free Press reports:

City Attorney Billy Gouger said the new policy is not intended to infringe on anyone’s right to free speech.

“What this policy tries to do is reconcile that right with other rights,” he said. “It does, to some extent, limit your ability to criticize or comment in an official capacity.”

The policy encourages those people to separate themselves privately from their position with the city, Gouger said.

It is intended to “minimize personal attacking” and “showing people in a negative light,” Powers said.

“Criticism is one thing,” Mayor Jane Dawkins said. “Out-and-out lies and untruths — that’s another thing. Those kinds of things are the things that will be directed.”

A lot of good that did!

It’s like they’ve never met Internet before. Maybe they saw Alan Colmes’ Twitter timeline in which he’s relentlessly trolled and thought, “Eww! We don’t want that here!” so they banned negative feedback.

Or, they could have just ignored them like Alan does.

H/T: Nomadic Politics. [su_csky_ad]

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

16 responses to Tennessee Town Bans Negative Online Comments And It Doesn’t Work Out Well

  1. Budda December 19th, 2014 at 9:10 am

    Paranoia runs deep with those folks.

    • whatthe46 December 19th, 2014 at 11:23 am

      someones scared of something coming out.

      • granpa.usthai December 19th, 2014 at 3:47 pm

        maybe their Mayor likes doing a TN waltz in Airport restrooms?

    • granpa.usthai December 19th, 2014 at 3:56 pm

      not so much that as it is the feeling they get that people outside their domain are laughing at them. Best to say ‘hell Sara’ when passing through – makes ’em feel more normal that way. Playing a banjo helps take away the outsider jitters too.

  2. rg9rts December 19th, 2014 at 9:27 am

    Just remember this is Tennessee we are talking about

    • granpa.usthai December 19th, 2014 at 3:52 pm

      actually, folks there aren’t much different than folks in Bridgeport, or Cole City.

      • rg9rts December 20th, 2014 at 12:41 am

        I don’t have a collection of white wear on the front lawn as planrters nor have every vehicle I ever owned in the back yard either.

  3. Larry Schmitt December 19th, 2014 at 9:29 am

    Alan doesn’t always ignore them. Sometimes he posts them here, so we can all enjoy a good laugh.

  4. Larry Schmitt December 19th, 2014 at 9:31 am

    So if these negative comments about the town have never been a problem before, why did they feel it necessary to pass an ordinance against it?

    • granpa.usthai December 19th, 2014 at 3:46 pm

      ’cause there’s an Hawaiian living in the White House?

  5. tiredoftea December 19th, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    Now, if only Sony would make a movie about the Mayor!

    • granpa.usthai December 19th, 2014 at 3:44 pm

      think it’ll show them polluting the Alabama River?

  6. FrankenPC . December 19th, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    Sigh. Good press, bad press, it’s all press.

    They should have kept their mouths shut.

  7. Bunya December 19th, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    I had no idea South Pittsburgh, TN, was so maligned! I didn’t even know it existed!
    I should be kept informed of these things so I’ll know who to criticize!

    • granpa.usthai December 19th, 2014 at 3:42 pm

      they’re right at the Alabama state line – oops, sorry, didn’t mean to embarrass them like that.
      (take two)
      they’re right at the state line of the state south of them. -oops, …
      (take three)
      they’re right at the state line.

  8. granpa.usthai December 19th, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    first ‘no republicans’ zone in TN?

    “out -and out- lies and untruths…”