Could you please remove my last name and just call me xxxx. I am very frightened ...

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

March 6th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The frantic emails came in at 5:47 pm; then 5:55 pm and again at 6:04 pm

The writer was frightened – the person had written a comment in the Gazette on the Millcroft story and thought she had to provide her full name for authentication.

Her comment, which is published as Name Witheld said:

Where is this developers conscience? How much money is enough? For residents who have their life savings in their home, with respect Mr. developer, how do you sleep?

These are seniors, couples, families who invested in a dream. We live both on and off the golf course. We are not rich, we work hard because we love our community, our schools, and our greenspace.

Safety? Please do not hide behind this pathetic excuse. Sweet dreams, Mr. developer.

You have one hell of a fight coming your way!

The emails to us went:

I am a resident of Burlington who today wrote a Letter in response to the MAD story. I did not know that you would use my full name. Could you please remove my last name and just call me xxxx. I am very frightened as I’m alone with two kids right now. I did not intend for my full name to go out there. Please can you help me. It says it is being reviewed.

Minutes Later

Please do not use my name in the opinions column currently being moderated. I thought I had to put my full name just for you to authenticate. I am a scared mother of 2. Please either remove or change my name to xx.
Thank you! Please let me know ASAP

Later

Hello I mistakenly used my full name in your editorial option section about Millcroft March 4.

Could you please remove the opinion or at least write me as xxx not my full name. I thought I had to leave my name for authentication. I did not want my last name used. Please help me.

Please understand I’m terrified.

Later

Hello, I wrote an opinion on the mad article. My name is xxx xxx can you please not use my last name. I am a scared mother as it is. Please just call me Please. I’m going to lose sleep over this. I thought I had to put in my full name.
Thankyou… please either erase it or just use my name xxx.

Block b 42 view 2

The full colour is part of the housing stock Argo Development wants to add to the Millcroft community. The grey part is development that already exists.

We published the comment and find ourselves asking: what kind of a city is this – that a person would fear that they would be harmed for saying what they think.

The number one city in the country eh!

Related news story:

Scope and scale of the development

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7 comments to Could you please remove my last name and just call me xxxx. I am very frightened …

  • Alfred

    Rob. Where they greedy developers that built the warm, safe, comfortable, home you live in. Or just the regular kind?

  • Rob Allan

    The declining interest in golf has been a godsend to REITs. Look at the fight the City of Oakville are having with Glen Abbey…. all that green space that’s been sitting there waiting to be used/abused by greedy developers!

    In 2015, Golf Canada and the PGA of Canada published a report on the country’s golf facilities that identified 158 courses that had closed in the preceding decade. The 2017 version of that report said an additional 51 closures had taken place.

    https://nationalpost.com/sports/golf/as-courses-close-and-millennials-turn-their-backs-golf-reckons-with-uncertain-future

  • Anne and Dave Marsden

    Anxiety/panic attacks can distort our views of a situation especially when combined with PTSD thanks for giving this reader the peace of mind she needs especially as it appears she is not someone who contributes on a regular basis as many of us do. That way each reader can give the comment the attention they think it deserves that recognizes while her fears may be unfounded her comments may add value to the discussion .

  • Penny Hersh

    I have always felt that if someone is not prepared to put their name to the comments they post the comments have no worth.

    It is difficult to put out one’s name when defending their position. What will people think? In this politically correct world many people step away, and it is their prerogative to do this, however, in this world the question to ask oneself is “do you want to try to make a difference” or complain to my peers and do nothing”?

    • James

      As a first name only commenter, I like to think my comments still have worth, that the content of my comments is far more valuable than an arbitrary last name. Saying someone’s opinion has no worth just because they don’t give a last name is equivalent to judging someone you pass on the street based on physical appearance alone. In a world where identity theft if prevalent, online bullying is commonplace, and anything you say or do online stays there forever, there are a plethora of reasons why people choose not to give their full names. That doesn’t make their opinions any less important than yours.

    • Stephen White

      I agree with you wholeheartedly Penny!

      An online newspaper should adhere to the same standards and protocols as the printed media. If someone wrote a letter to the editor to the Toronto Star, the G&M, the National Post, or the Burlington Post, and the writer used only a first name or did not self-identify, the newspaper would withhold publication of their letter…and justifiably so. Some people believe that anything goes online, but there need to be reasonable boundaries and professional standards.

      If someone is afraid to express their opinions and or reluctant to stand up for their convictions then perhaps the best option for them is simply not to post.

  • Jim Ridley

    It would be very interesting to find out why she reacted like this. I personally don’t think that the BG needs to worry about one reader’s irrational behavior. It’s not representative of the city in any way, unless she has other information that she is witholding.

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