Canada Games shuts down Facebook to avoid inconvenient truth about disabled

Canada Games censors Facebook to avoid inconvenient truth about disabled

Censors ban freedom of expression after NJN Network posting

Story from Canada Games Facebook

Canada Games has shut down all commentary and community on their Facebook page.

Patrick Kenny Director of Marketing and Communications for Canada Games confirmed this morning they are not allowing anyone to comment on the site.

“The site is aimed at communicating sports scores,” said Kenny. “We don’t want to clutter it with fan or other comments.”

Prior to the disability posting of Monday August 17, 2009, the site was open for comments and postings on the Facebook Wall.

For example on Sunday Michelle Collens at 2:52pm wrote

“Whoot Whoot! Go Team BC – first practice done – Game time tomorrow!

There were approximately 9 comments posted by fans of the Canada Games in the week before they closed it down.

It is obvious that Canada Games is trying to control the flow of information.

If Canada Games was part of a dictatorship, totalitarian regime or communist block country we could understand their reluctance to chance dialogue with the masses.

However, we live in a free and democratic society with guarantees of freedom expression which can mean the odd inconvenient truth slips through to the masses.

We believe the Canada Games strategy to shut down dialogue on the issue of disability access at the UPEI Canada Games site was developed as “damage control.”

Freedom of expression is sometimes inconvenient. However, it is part of a democracy and a value government funded organizations like Canada Games need to cultivate.

They may not appreciate our pointing out the lack of disabled parking at the campus site but 7 days after Canada Games started who else cares enough to bring it up?

In response to our comments, Canada Games wrote

“The Canada Games is thankful to the NJN Network for keeping the issue of accessibility at the Canada Games a topic for discussion. Considering that we work with the Canadian sport system to always include sports for athletes with a disability at each… of our current Games, this is an issue near and dear to our hearts. We certainly welcome a dialogue and would love an interview with the NJN Network if there is interest.”

Dialogue means two way conversation. Monologue is when one side sends out the information for others to consume.

Talk is cheap.

We challenge Canada Games to put actions – as in freedom of expression – where their words are.

That way we only have one issue to worry about, discrimination against the disabled. Right now we’re also fighting for freedom of expression as well.

Canada Games Facebook page is dead

A social media like Facebook is intended for conversation, for fan videos and pictures, for interactivity. The young athletes who participate in the games and their friends are used to freedom of expression.

The young athletes find the Canada Games Facebook page of little interest. Fewer than 25% of the athletes, fans and family adding to their fan pages.

The closed nature of the page represents their parents idea of how to control information with censorship and thought control.  For people accustomed to interactive communications the page is the equivalent of a parental lecture. It is Charlie Brown hearing his teacher lecture him and Charlie Brown translates her words into “Wa Wa Wa Wa”