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Riverhead Town set to enter world of social media

08/16/2016 1:05 PM |

Riverhead Town will be making a new push into social media with its first social media policy set to be adopted Tuesday. 

But the Town Board’s members seemed more concerned with dealing with internet trolls in the comment sections than with the content of the messages.

Councilwoman Jodi Giglio had warned against using the Town’s social media pages on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to advocate for political causes, but Larry Levy, the supervisor’s Chief of Staff, said the policy expressly forbids electioneering. Others on the board said during last week’s work session that they’d use “common sense” and hold each other accountable.

Councilman Tim Hubbard predicted the town’s social media pages will become much more active during election season, when politicians want to taut their accomplishments.

“I just know how it’s going to work,” he said. “Be honest.”

Board members were primarily concerned about monitoring the various social media feeds, with some stating the town could limit comments to keep out vulgar or rude comments.

“This could be a full time job because the clowns who comment … they’re ill-informed,” Mr. Hubbard said. “It’s nonsense.” Mr. Levy said that interaction among users was “the fun” of social media, and Councilman James Wooten said some of the best suggestions have come from angry residents.

“I say we give it a try, because that’s what you do on Facebook.” Mr. Walter said.

And, as with any new technology, there were some social media holdouts on the board.

“I don’t go on social media. It wouldn’t affect me in one bit,” declared John Dunleavy. “I don’t put nothing on Facebook so I don’t care about Facebook.”

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