We Are Not Posting on
By Susan M. Halpern
Former Addison Councilmember (1992-1999)
Truth in Addison is not posting on the Next Door app. If you are here because you saw a link on the Next Door app, or because you read some other post and got curious, we welcome you. But please know that we didn’t post any links and are not behind the post-storm that is currently being inflicted on Next Door users. Nonetheless, if you’re inclined, read on,because it’s good to know what’s happening.
For about two weeks now, the negatives and naysayers have been forcefully posting on the Next Door app. As is their practice, they jump from issue to issue trying to gain traction. The formula remains the same: pick an issue, circulate misleading and inaccurate information, claim that the sky is falling, criticize anyone who isn’t them, and then claim that only they have a solution.
All efforts to correct the misleading and inaccurate information being posted on Next Door have been met with hostility and sarcasm. When the posts are removed by Next Door, they are immediately posted again. When individual accounts are removed, they are either reestablished or new accounts are created using fake names. There is no reasoning with these folks on any level. They simply ignore the truth, continue with their misleading posts, and have no concern for those trying to use the Next Door app for its intended purposes.
By Monday of this week, the Next Door “Lead” had seen enough. The Lead posted, asking the “Jill Slake” account (clearly a fake name) to stop posting. The Lead also requested that other users simply ignore posts from that account, stating: “I know who it is and it has been reported.” The Lead was immediately accused (by the fake Jill Slake account) of being a “mean girl,” and the negative poster changed tactics and now claimed to be a victim of bullying. What nonsense.
On some level, such tactics are laughable. But the repeated posts appear to be bothersome to many who are simply trying to use the Next Door app for its intended purposes. And, I’m sure the appalling lack of decency has been a shock to the Next Door users, who undoubtedly are not accustomed to the tactics of the negatives and naysayers.
Another problem with these posts is that many contain blatantly false information. People are being misled, quite by design, and quite intentionally. In the law, we would call that malicious. As but one example, there were countless posts aimed at harming the Addison Police Association’s fundraising efforts by falsely stating that money raised from the public was used to make campaign donations to Addison candidates. That claim is utterly groundless and completely untrue. The Addison Police Association does not make political contributions. That means that not a dime raised from the public is used for that purpose. But the negatives are unconstrained by the truth. So, the posts keep coming. The negative poster even brought up the fact that the Addison Police Association was victimized by an embezzler, failing to mention that the current APA Board uncovered the wrongdoing, that the perpetrator was prosecuted, and that every dime was recovered. These facts are important and they surely matter. But not, apparently, to the negatives and naysayers, who are so intent on spreading misleading and inaccurate information.
And that’s before we ever get to their latest tactic, which is a concerted effort to falsely connect Truth in Addison to the post storm. And, to purport to speak on behalf of Truth in Addison and falsely attribute political positions to Truth in Addison. The clear effort is to discredit Truth in Addison because, well, they can’t handle the TRUTH. How utterly shameful, indecent and entirely inappropriate. It goes without saying that they do not speak on Truth in Addison’s behalf.
Can you imagine investing all that time posting false information again and again, for no constructive reason, but rather, to cause harm? What kind of existence is it to awaken each day, and plot harm to others? Who does such things? Who even has time to do such things?? And it’s so ironic that all this is happening as our country is mourning the loss of Bush 41, whose civility was the subject of so much commentary during the past two weeks. Not to mention the holiday season that is upon us. It is shameful conduct.
Here’s the other thing. It cannot be coincidental that these posts began at the same time the blog of the negatives and naysayers emerged for the first time in months. It too was filled with misinformation. They even attacked the current Council in connection with a meeting being conducted not by the Town, but by the Oaks North HOA. The meeting concerned the Village on the Parkway, and the negatives falsely claimed that the Council had agreed to rezone part of that development, even claiming that the rezoning was a “done deal.” All of it was false. And then, once the meeting was done, they claimed that a quorum of the Council had been present. Again, false. Four were present, five is a quorum. Addison’s Charter is clear on that point. Again and again and again, the negatives and naysayers confirm that the facts simply do not matter to them. They will say anything if they believe they can inflict harm on those who call them out for their underhanded tactics.
Well, all the signs are there. The sudden flurry of blogs and inappropriate posts, the efforts to harm Truth in Addison, which has repeatedly called the negatives out for their improper and harmful conduct, the efforts to float various issues using the negative formula discussed above. We’ve seen these tactics before. And, I don’t believe in coincidences. So, it would appear that the negatives and naysayers are gearing up for a negative campaign season in 2019. And, it certainly appears that they intend to impose themselves on the Next Door app as a way of spreading their negative messages and attempting to discredit Truth in Addison. Civility be damned; they just don’t care that it causes harm to our community, or that it imposes on others trying to use the Next Door app.
So, I say ignore them. Ignore the posts. Ignore the posters. Don’t believe them, and don’t be drawn into discussions with them. On the Next Door app, let their misleading, negative posts fall down the queue and be absorbed by other posts. And if the negatives open the posts back up and close them back down so that the posts rise back up in the queue, ignore them again. If we all do that, we’ll be able to continue to use the site for its intended purposes, with minimal inconvenience caused by these folks. And if we check our facts and search for the TRUTH, we will be unaffected by the efforts of the negatives and naysayers to drag our community down.
Addison is in a great place right now. We have a hardworking, honest Council that is conducting the affairs of the Town in a professional and businesslike manner. Addison is starting to regain its credibility within the North Texas community. Our staff is stabilizing, and our fire and safety departments are returning to full strength. Our Council is solving problems, not creating them.
The Addison Way is back! Let’s keep moving Addison in the right direction!