UPDATE: Okanagan woman learns lesson from public shaming on social media | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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UPDATE: Okanagan woman learns lesson from public shaming on social media

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October 24, 2020 - 9:16 AM

An Okanagan woman wants others to know of the repercussions of inflammatory social media posts after an experience she had last week.

On Oct. 20, Shelley Hughes saw a man screaming and uttering threats near her home. She posted about it in a neighbourhood Facebook group saying the man looked like a known criminal in the area and a fair number of comments racked up.  She later learned it was a different person who was struggling with mental health issues and harming no one.

“Things got a little bit out of control on the Facebook group,” Hughes said, adding that she got in touch with a family member and learned more about their story.

READ MORE: Social media skepticism helping fuel distrust of the internet, survey finds

“We have to be mindful about what we post, including me, because I was participating in the rhetoric,” Hughes said. “Yes we do post to watch out for each other but we have to be clear. It was a lesson for everyone how quickly it can get out of hand.”

Hughes posted a follow up to her original post, explaining her experience.

“We need to pull together," she said. “We need to bring some compassion. It takes a village so let’s be this village.”

The Facebook group is meant to be a neighbourhood watch but sometimes the comments get out of hand, she said.

Her message is to be mindful of the facts before turning to social media.

“It can be used as a useful, positive tool but also in a very bad way,” Hughes said.

She hopes by sharing the story and the lesson she learned that others will follow suit. She said the community has been supportive when she posted a second time explaining the situation.

“Our community needs to get back to being that village and slamming people on social media is not the way to do it. Have I learned a lesson? I have. What do we do with a lesson? We learn from it and we respond to it,” Hughes said.

—updated Oct. 25, 2020 for clarity

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