Mass. town official quits committee over social media revelations

Just a few days ago, Bill Anderson, stood defiant, claiming that he could post anything he wanted to social media and, if people didn’t like it, they shouldn’t look at it.  Don’t take my word for it, here’s what he said:

“I do not control, nor do I want to, how people choose to view comments, posts, likes or shares on social media. Individuals infatuated with my social media activity can also choose to avoid potential self-inflicted offense by choosing not to actively seek out my comments, posts, likes and and shares. The idea that I am racist or sexist is equally as stupid as choosing to ‘troll’ my social media presence.”

Bill Anderson, pictured left

Perhaps such arguments work for private citizens but, Bill Anderson is an elected member of the Easton, Massachusetts Housing Authority and had just been named to a committee that will select the next town administrator.  When you’re a public official, like it or not, the rules change.

 

A look into Mr. Anderson’s Facebook and Twitter feeds revealed a history of posts that were homophobic, misogynistic and anti-Muslim.

However, just one day later, Anderson did a complete 180 and stepped down from his position on the search committee. It appears that the scrutiny was more than he wanted to endure.  The incident appears to have impacted his future political aspirations, as well.  On the same day he quit the board, he also withdrew the papers he filed for a 2017 run for Select Board.

An opinionated technologist, JP launched Death By Social Media when he saw just how easily and how often people's misunderstanding/abuse of social media created personal catastrophes. As a result, he wanted to provide a resource that would provide cautionary tales for those seeking to avoid similar fates.