Character assassination Facebook style

But the dark side of social media jeopardizes the moral fabric of our society—even right here in little ol’ Imperial, Nebraska.

Will the real Jason Arthur please step forward? Who’s that, you might ask. I’m asking the same question. I’ve never heard of Jason Arthur—perhaps he’s new to Imperial. Or perhaps, Jason Arthur doesn’t even exist. I’m guessing the latter
    But as far as Facebook is concerned, the person does exist because he put up a post last week on Facebook that would get me sued for libel if it appeared on newsprint. It could get him sued too if his true identity was known.
    Like it or not, social media now occupies its own realm in our society—a realm where facts or truth often bear little relevance in the discussion.
    Social media no doubt is here to stay. But the dark side of social media jeopardizes the moral fabric of our society—even right here in little ol’ Imperial, Nebraska.
    Accountability stands as the big loser in the social media world. People can go online and post anything without ever having to be accountable for it.
    We saw that last week in a Facebook post by “Jason Arthur” skewering the city and its police chief.
    The post first referred to the story in last week’s Imperial Republican that brought into question the honesty of the police chief surrounding his application to become a member of the State Patrol back in 2009.
    The chief told the patrol he may have committed perjury when he testified in a preliminary hearing that he had tested radar equipment in a speeding and DUI case. Without the paperwork to prove he did, he then told the county attorney he could not testify that he did test it. As a result, the case was dismissed.
    Today, the chief doesn’t believe that action was perjury based on the definition of perjury. Frankly, I believe he did the right thing by correcting his testimony. The state patrol thought otherwise and didn’t hire him.
    He also told the patrol about a life-changing incident as a young adult where he rolled a vehicle while drinking and didn’t report it to the police. He noted in a recent court hearing that the incident served as the impetus to change his life and was responsible for his desire to enter law enforcement.
    I wonder if Jason Arthur did anything as a young adult that he regrets today? I know I did and I’m guessing that you are no different. That’s how we learn and grow up to be responsible adults.
    One thing that still remains a mystery is how the patrol’s decision not to hire him suddenly comes to light after eight years. Doesn’t pass the smell test, does it? Sounds to me that someone has it out for the police chief. Jason Arthur certainly does.
    He showed that again when he began spouting rumor and unfounded allegations in the post accusing the chief of watching pornography on his police car computer. Again, another allegation that suddenly appears out of nowhere.
    Those allegations have since proven to be unfounded, based on inspection of the police force’s computers by computer technicians. But that hasn’t stopped people like Jason Arthur from spreading the rumors, not only online but in the community as well.
    “Arthur” makes claims that “there has been days that not one officer has been on the whole day.” Are you kidding me? That’s yet another musing for which the “author” has no accountability for this statement because he (or maybe she) is hiding behind a questionable Facebook identity.
    One thing that I do agree with is that the post encourages the people of Imperial to go to city council meetings and voice their concerns. Perhaps Jason Arthur will be in person at the next council meeting to do just exactly that.
    But before he does, he’d best base his concerns on facts and truth—not hearsay, innuendo, rumors or plain-out falsehoods.
    Character assassination behind the guise of a Facebook identity serves no one.

The Imperial Republican

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PO Box 727

Imperial, NE 69033