Monday, January 16, 2012

Northern Gateway Proponents Play Dirty!

Since hearings into the Northern Gateway began last week, there have been accusations of misconduct on the part of  pipeline/route opponents.  These have been shown to be false, as even the folks at Ethical Oil seem to realize (see "update").

However, people on the pro-pipeline side of the issue seem clearly to be playing dirty pool. From the comments at Deep Climate, a Prince Rupert, a B.C. resident complains about fake Facebook Pages launched in support of the project:

A resident of another community complained that a facebook page made it look like the Chamber of Commerce in Fort St James was coming out in support of the Northern Gateway pipeline. I found your blog after I became curious as to who is behind the creation of a string of facebook groups for Northwestern BC Communites coming out in support of the Northern Gateway.

These pages all with similar themes/logos have appeared for the communities of Prince George, Fort St James, Fraser Lake, Burns Lake, Houston, Smithers, Kitimat. It appears people “Foreign” to these communities have been creating these face book groups.

In fact, the page for Fort St. James has a shot of the local Chamber of Commerce building ( a log cabin thingy) prominently displayed, suggesting that the Ft. St. James Chamber of Commerce supports the page and the pipeline.  Here is that picture:
But in fact the local Chamber of Commerce  DOES NOT endorse this page, as Wendy Swan, director of the Chamber, quickly pointed out:
Hard to know if this effort has been coordinated with the work by Ethical Oil--its too damn easy to spread AstroTurf on the various social media platforms. But it certainly looks as though an attempt is being made to suggest to non-residents that a degree of local support for the pipeline exists where it does not.

In addition, as noted above, it doesn't look like Fort St. James is the only place suffering from these underhanded tactics:

There are currently 10 Facebook pages from cities in northern British Columbia that proclaim to support the Northern Gateway pipeline: Prince George; Smithers; Kitimat; Fort St. James; Burns Lake; Fraser Lake; Houston; Vanderhoof; Bruderheim; and Bears Lake. All of them have pretty much an identical news feed, and were started in late October 2011.

However, I have yet to find these additional pages.


joe said...

BCL: Just type "Supports Northern Gateway" into Facebook search bar (this should work, though it will ask you to login):

All 10 pages are still there as of this morning, and I've archived the complete news feed for all of them.

bigcitylib said...

Thanks much.