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  • Social Media Use and Misuse

    Posted by Karen on April 10, 2022 at 9:26 am

    emjayel

    Hello, we have two Facebook pages started by a former Board member, using the condo corp’s name, purporting to share information and connect residents.

    However, these Facebook pages are now being used to libel the Board, e.g. calling a recent communication update re security an outright lie, etc.  In all the noise generated in the zeal to discredit the Board, a lot of good information and updates about actions taken to address security measures was lost.

    Has anyone else had a similar experience at their Condo?  Shouldn’t a Facebook page that’s labelled with the Condo corp name be administered by the Board or the condo property management company to ensure appropriate usage?

    Thanks

    Have started reading an interesting book published in 2018:  LikeWar:  The Weaponization of Social Media.

    Karen replied 4 months, 1 week ago 1 Member · 0 Replies
  • 0 Replies
  • Karen

    Administrator
    April 10, 2022 at 9:27 am

    MarkH

    I don’t use Facebook (you mentioned some of the reasons!) or other social media, except watching cat videos on YouTube.

    When I was on our corporation board (2004-2006), we did not have a web site; we now do. Most of it is open to the public, but documents, forms and financial matters are behind a password granted to Owners on request by the Property Manager. The password changes often, so a departing former owner would have limited access. We do not have a forum or chat function on the website for the reasons you mention in your query.

    When we were getting COFSAB started, we were granted access to GeniePad by the Edmonton based developer; it is software designed for information exchange and communication in the world of condominium corporations. The name has now changed to Condogenie.

    I haven’t used Condogenie/Geniepad except for testing it in those early days. I expect there are other services such as this. The advantage of using an Alberta-based system should be keeping current with local legislative requirements. I believe this service would avoid the issues you mention in your question.

    Any communication system such as this should be the corporation’s property and access to it granted by officers of the corporation such as the secretary and/or president. Management should access and use the system since official communication would usually be between the Property Manager and the Owners.

    Just my two bits; how about some discussion?

    • Karen

      Administrator
      April 10, 2022 at 9:28 am

      emjayel

      Hi MarkH – Yes, social media certainly isn’t these days.

      The official communication channel between the Property Manager and Owners is an application called CondoCommunities:  service requests, incident reports, document storage, etc.

      The FB pages have taken on a (toxic) life of their own.  There are some people who believe people are allowed to say whatever they like, as this is their free speech.  I believe each right comes with a responsibility.

      • Karen

        Administrator
        April 10, 2022 at 9:28 am

        GibsonT

        @emjayel We have had the same problem.  The Board wrote them a letter and they took it down.  However, if they did not, I would recommend having your lawyer send a letter to them.

        • Karen

          Administrator
          April 10, 2022 at 9:29 am

          emjayel

          Hi GibsonT – this is on our agenda for the AGM.  We have some Board members who believe we can’t ask them to take the FB page down, as we’re infringing on their right to free speech.

          It’s unfortunate that something that was meant to bring residents together unofficially has been used like this.  I saw one post from a new resident saying Hi everyone, I’m new here and need help navigating the building (etc).  Then the next FB post was saying the Board’s communication re security measures was an outright lie (which it wasn’t).

          Thanks, all!

          • Karen

            Administrator
            April 10, 2022 at 9:30 am

            GibsonT

            In our building the Facebook site ‘appeared’ to be official.

            If there is any potential indication that they appear official, then I believe the Board has a right to object.

            Maybe just require them to put a post at the top of the page to the effect that this is NOT an official site for the condo.

            • Karen

              Administrator
              April 10, 2022 at 9:30 am

              emjayel

              Agree! Same as in our buildings – both FB pages “appear” to be official, as they’re using the condominium corporation name.

              There are also disclaimers on both that it’s an informal forum, not the official communication channel.

              What is almost funny is that there are also rules on the one page that are broken regularly, including by the Admin person who posted the rules, which include “Don’t Harp on Old Issues,” “Be Nice,” “Post Something Positive.”

            • Karen

              Administrator
              April 10, 2022 at 9:34 am

              villa2016

              Please do not construe anything I post as condoning toxic, untruthful condominium websites. I do not use Facebook. I have a 25 year history of using 2 Investor Village discussion forums. In my opinion a forum must be monitored to be successful so the free speech boogeyman is just that. Not valid or actionable if monitoring was active. I think my condominium board lacks transparency in specific topics and when they do post information I think they would post information which was inaccurate to the degree that I would use the word untruthful. I think  a website, where monitored information is posted in good faith, is closer to a positive solution to condominium issues in Alberta than a toxic disruptive force would certainly be. If the worrisome examples posted above might follow board transparency issues, then a proper communication set up is the issue; you are not going to get rid of social media you do not like but you might smother it with transparency that is neutral, monitored and accessible by all local condo players.  Use YouTube to search New Engineered Hardwood Deficiencies. My hardwood was replaced at a developer’s cost of $10,000.00. I paid nothing. A couple of very late replies by me. I did not see the comment. I was also very sick which I mention because it is a huge issue in using the very weak provincial bylaw condominium support avenues we have in Alberta. I am very interested but me going door to door to get names of supporters is not a possibility and I am not allowed an E mail list or any other means of communication.

              To appear to stay on topic Alberta condominiums need a functioning site to take board discussions with owners to a next step which includes the light of day with other owners who choose to read it.

            • Karen

              Administrator
              April 10, 2022 at 9:34 am

              Fairway94

              @emjayel The Condominium Corporation’s name, even if not registered, may be protected under current laws. I would consult the condo’s attorney and have him or her write the FB admins a letter demanding they change the name or take it down.

            • Karen

              Administrator
              April 10, 2022 at 9:35 am

              Emjayel

              Hi Fairway94 – that helps, thank you!