7/24/2017 5:16:00 PM On cyber bullying and censorship Dear Editor:
People identify themselves with circles of connections. Are you a cat person or a dog person? Are you an IU fan or a Purdue fan? Save the Train or Pull the Rails and Build the Trails?
The latter circles are the ones I want to focus on for today. Time has a funny way of changing things. Paint fades. Sidewalks wear down. Technology changes. Hairlines recede and skin wrinkles. Roads get wider and traffic gets heavier. Attitudes and perspectives change.
We are in an interesting situation in Noblesville. The city is proposing the idea to build a trail connecting Noblesville to Fishers. Some wonder how that would benefit Noblesville. For starters, take a walk down the Monon Trail to see how a community can build off of a trail. Many businesses are anchored along the trail. Some areas along the proposed trail might be developed for housing, as well. Honestly, I do not know the depth of the plans. Nor do I want to know. I didn't concern myself with the development of Hamilton Town Center or Federal Hill. I voted for people to think about these for me. I have a full time and part-time job I get paid for doing. Politics and city development is not it.
Now, on the other side, saving the train. I am for nostalgia and history. Holding onto the history and keeping the charm of this beautiful city helps make it feel like a small town with a population that is far from small. The train has been enjoyed by people riding to and from fairs and festivals through the years. Many look forward to riding, and some just appreciate seeing it and hearing the horn as it passes by. However, It has seen better days and needs updating.
All of this really does not address my concerns. I will be happy if the city decides to "Save the Train" and really give it an overhaul to make it a desirable attraction. I will also get on my bike and go for a ride on the trail if it is built. There are fine places in Fishers to eat and visit on that short bike ride. My concern is how people are being treated on the "Noblesville Neighbors" Facebook page.
This page is essentially promoting cyber bullying. They are saying hateful things about the deputy mayor. They are demanding he be fired. They think he does not understand Noblesville heritage, because he's from Michigan. He has been called a long list of names. I am all for freedom of speech, but spreading hatred and name calling is ridiculous. Make your points without being rude. It is possible.
There is a more disturbing point. Posts and comments of people that challenge them are being deleted. I asked them if they could post more neighborly information and refrain from being snarky and negative. Keep in mind I made two comments. My comments were deleted and I was blocked access to the page. This page is what is wrong with social media. People feel they can get behind their keyboard and say whatever they want without repercussion. But, to delete someone and block them because they asked for you to be less snarky and polite, well, that's completely different. It's censorship. They want people visiting their page to think that all of Noblesville is against the trail. That's easy to do when you're deleting and blocking someone who thinks differently than you.
Wait, aren't they calling the deputy mayor a snake? In their posts, they are calling him sneaky and dishonest. All the while, they are censoring posts and blocking Noblesville neighbors from sharing their opinions.
The name of the page is Noblesville Neighbors, but the majority of their posts are anti-deputy mayor filled with rudeness. If I were researching where to move in Hamilton County, and I looked at a page called Noblesville Neighbors, I would think twice about moving here if this is how the neighbors of Noblesville treat each other. Whoever is doing this should really think about the values of our town and what it means to be a good neighbor.