Whoops: City of Red Deer apologizes for ‘inappropriate’ social media posting

The City of Red Deer has apologized after an employee posted disrespectful comments through the city’s official Facebook page.

Tuesday’s comment stemmed from an online conversation about the lighting of City Hall in support of the Transgender Day of Remembrance, which was Wednesday.

The employee, who manages the city’s social media account, intended to post the comment from a private account, but instead, posted it using the city’s Facebook page, said Tara Shand, Red Deer’s communications team lead.

“There was back and forth (between them) and the comment was removed quickly, but it was posted appearing to be posted from the City of Red Deer,” said Shand.

She said the city felt the apology was important, because it recognizes the comment was inappropriate.

“So we posted it (the apology), essentially, because, we, as the City of Red Deer, feel it’s our responsibility to own up to our mistakes, and we feel we have the responsibility to be transparent and honest with our citizens,” she said.

“The comments made by our staff member were of a disrespectful nature to that individual,” she said.

Jo Phillips, co-owner of Lacombe’s Jo(e) Social Media Inc., whose services include presentations to businesses, commended the city’s decision to get ahead of the problem, take ownership, and apologize for the error.

“We all screw up. It’s an honest mistake,” she said Wednesday. “Mistakes happen and it’s an unfortunate thing.”

Phillips said she believes the remark was inappropriate. From what she remembers, the comment on the city’s account was along the lines of “save your bigoted opinion,” adding the remark wouldn’t be considered inappropriate coming from an individual, but would be inappropriate coming from the city.

“As soon as I saw that, I knew it was somebody who screwed up. I knew it wasn’t the city saying it,” she said.

Phillips said this kind of mix up happens more in the small business sector, or with someone unfamiliar with how social media works.

“It’s unfortunate. It’s clearly a mistake they didn’t want to make. When you’re representing a brand as big as City of Red Deer, you have to be vigilant at all times.”

Shand said the city’s human resources department is investigating the matter.

Some people shared their opinions on the city’s apology post. Some of the comments offered support for the employee.

“Don’t fire them if it’s an honest mistake. We have way to many knee-jerk reactions and need to consider if they are valuable employees,” said one user.

“If you can’t say it on your work account, you probably shouldn’t say it on your personal account either,” said another user.



mamta.lulla@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Police: Man dead from gun shot in Lacombe

One man is dead from a gun shot wound, Lacombe police say.… Continue reading

One person dies in hospital after house fire erupts in Calgary

CALGARY — The Calgary Fire Department says a person has died in… Continue reading

Jury finds former SNC-Lavalin executive Sami Bebawi guilty on all charges

MONTREAL — A former SNC-Lavalin executive on trial for fraud and corruption… Continue reading

Festival of Trees volunteers honoured at breakfast

This year’s Festival of Trees was able to provide the Red Deer… Continue reading

Drug bust: Red Deer RCMP seize drugs, cash, vehicles

Criminals are getting creative. Red Deer RCMP have seized cash and vehicles… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Thursday Join us at the Senior Center Downtown House (5414 43 St.… Continue reading

Sales of electric vehicles plummet in Ontario after rebate cancellation

TORONTO — Sales of electric vehicles in Ontario have plummeted since the… Continue reading

Partway through first term, Quebec Premier Legault already planning his exit

SAN FANCISCO, United States — Political power has an expiration date for… Continue reading

Unifor announces boycott campaign against Co-op in refinery labour dispute

REGINA — The union that represents hundreds of locked-out workers at a… Continue reading

Defence minister says Canada ‘very fortunate’ to have Vance as defence chief

OTTAWA — Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has come out in support of… Continue reading

Red Deer Vipers earn wild comeback win

The Red Deer Vipers needed a comeback to top the Mountainview Colts… Continue reading

Big Valley’s Zeke Thurston captures second world title at NFR

Zeke Thurston is quickly becoming one of the most decorated saddle bronc… Continue reading

Edmonton faces Dallas, seeks to end 4-game skid

Edmonton Oilers (18-13-4, second in the Pacific Division) vs. Dallas Stars (19-11-4,… Continue reading

Most Read