Alachua County Public Schools turns off Facebook comments

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Published: Nov. 12, 2021 at 5:13 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -Alachua County Public Schools has tuned off comments on facebook posts made on the organization’s Facebook page.

ACPS made a post explaining the move on Friday afternoon.

The post reads:

Due to a significant and disturbing increase in personal attacks and other highly-inappropriate postings, Alachua County Public Schools is disabling comments on this page, effective immediately.

The district recognizes the value of Facebook in sharing important information about our schools with the public. Unfortunately, hostility and harassment have become increasingly common in the comments section.

Many comments violate our Civility and Bullying and Harassment policies as well as the guidelines clearly posted on this page.

We are particularly concerned about personal attacks directed by some commenters toward other commenters.

This includes name-calling and the sharing of personal information, such as the commenter’s address and even the school attended by their students.

There have also been threats against school district staff.

Alachua County Public Schools is not willing to provide a forum for some citizens to insult, intimidate or threaten their fellow-citizens.

The district will continue to monitor its Twitter and Instagram accounts to determine if comments should be disabled on those platforms as well.

Citizens may continue to share their questions and concerns through email, phone calls, the district’s website, public comments at School Board meetings and other means.

We appreciate and will continue to promote the productive engagement of local citizens in our schools and district.

Jackie Johnson, the Public Information Officer for the school district, said comments will only be turned off on Facebook due to the company’s tendency to promote inflammatory comments.

“To a certain extent, Facebook itself, in the way it operates, encourages and promotes the kind of conflict and hostility that you see on Facebook’s pages,” said Johnson.

ACPS is still allowing comments on Instagram and Twitter.

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