The Echo Chamber

It speaks volumes about the PLP's interest in informed dialogue that two brief fact based and civil comments that I posted on their Facebook page were deleted and I was removed from the page entirely, as was another comment from someone else challenging them on their negative attack piece on Bob Richards. Not all comments were deleted. Only those that didn't echo the official line.

I, of all people, know the perils of online commenting, you either have them on or off (I choose off because it became impossible to manage the personal attacks in the pre-Facebook ID authentication era). But these weren't anonymous libelous comments, they were under a verifiable name, were measured and reasonable. The problem was that they challenged, not parroted, the party line.

The PLP's Facebook page has very few comments in general, which I attribute to the fact that they are not seen as a place which is interested in genuine discussion. The OBA's page is extremely active - sometimes going way off track with heavy anti-OBA commenters destroying the signal to noise ratio - including PLP MPs at times.

I think this is indicative of the fact that the PLP is seen as closed and intolerant of other views and opinions, and as in my deleted comments cases even facts, whereas the OBA is seen as a more open. People just don't bother to comment at the PLP page because it's so shamelessly propagandistic.

This is an extension of the general approach by the PLP where their statements are not designed to illuminate but to obfuscate and indoctrinate. If they believed what they wrote they would be willing to defend it rather than delete any dissent.

The PLP have anonymous people hiding behind an online curtain posting childish statements attacking Bob Richards, but when a factual and civil reply is posted under a real name, asking for additional information or challenging their 'facts' they delete it rather than engage honestly and openly.

The first comment was in reply to their trumpeting of 53 company incorporations. I simply asked if they knew what the 10 year average was.

That one line innocuous comment was deleted, perhaps because the 10 year average of insurance company incorporations is 70, meaning that 2011 was still well below average and up 50% over the worst year ever.

The second comment was in reply to their statement that Bob Richards "doesn't believe that there is a global economic crisis raging" where I pointed out that (to paraphrase: "in the mid 2000s Bob actually warned that a US recession was coming and that Government should get its fiscal house in order in advance. They didn't listen then and they still aren't listening.")

This is the fundamental problem with the PLP and any hope we have to turning Bermuda around - they cannot handle dissent, or even fact based questions. The PLP aren't interested in presenting an accurate picture of anything, so the public can't make informed judgments on how to proceed.

Their propaganda can't stand up to any sort of challenge, it needs to stand alone or it falls apart quickly, unable to withstand even the most rudimentary fact based scrutiny.

That's why they only link through to articles or comments on other websites when they are positive, but will not include a link or full quote to comments that they want to misrepresent.

Bermudians deserve better.

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