It isn’t a first-year CCSC race without some good ol’ Facebook drama. This year, The Lion’s Pride presidential candidate, Chris George, has been on the hunt for other parties–namely Starr/Treasure and The Council–who he believes were unfairly campaigning.
The source of this unfairness? They were commenting on their own Facebook posts in the Class of 2017 group and then deleting the comments, thereby keeping their posts at the top of the page without making it seem desperate.
George’s response was to screenshot these candidates’ actions and call them out by name, also on Facebook. We reached out to George:
Mike Starr, with his party, Starr/ Treasure and Ben Gottdiener, with his party, The Council, are both commenting periods (.) or numbers on their own posts and then deleting them so that their posts will stay above the rest. This is a subversive yet effective mean of staying at the top of the page, but it isn’t fair to parties that don’t participate as well as the public. My party and I sought to expose these schemes.
Following up, we asked George if their actions violate policy and if it would be the same as just posting the same thing over and over again:
Yes, as it is in essence a form of spamming. Spam is against the rules for student council campaign, so posting the same thing over and over is off limits. The fact that they delete the comments after posting means that they know that it’s something that shouldn’t be done.
Wondering about the legitimacy of this, Bwog reached out to Jeremy Meyers, chair of the new Columbia Elections Board, who provided a plot twist:
We have received rule violation complaints about the behavior of Chris George — not of Starr/Treasure or The Council. We have been speaking with several candidates about this issue, and from what we have gathered this back-and-forth between these candidates has ended.
The current set of policies by which candidates must abide (which were most recently amended by CCSC last year) were neither violated by Starr/Treasure nor The Council in this matter — as far as we know. Repeatedly commenting and deleting comments is not currently considered spamming; only sending unsolicited mass emails is considered spamming. We will be seeking feedback about whether we should add a rule against spamming the Facebook group.While we do not condone Chris George’s behavior, as far as we know he has not violated these rules. However, Chris ideally would have come to us with his complaint instead of repeatedly posting about in the group.
And there you have it, folks, another fine example of politics from tomorrow’s leaders.