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LETTER: Social media fuels unnecessary hate

Back in the day, I navigated the high seas on freighters and tankers using a sextant…
The Victoria Hospitals Foundation removed a tweet about Dr. Bonnie Henry winning a public lottery prize after it received hateful online comments. Their Facebook post (pictured) remains up. (Victoria Hospitals Foundation/Facebook)

To the Editor,

British Columbia’s Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, recently won two electric bicycles in a fundraising draw held by Victoria Hospitals Foundation. A photo of the doctor and her prize bicycles drew so much negative response on Twitter that it was withdrawn because the foundation said it “fuelled so much unnecessary hate.”

The good doctor, who has been the face of the pandemic in British Columbia and a calming factor for so many from Day One when there was so much uncertainty, has now become reviled by a certain segment of Twitter users.

Back in the day, I navigated the high seas on freighters and tankers using a sextant—a vital instrument at the time, which has become outdated with so many technological advances. Now I navigate the Information Highway with the aid of a desktop computer, a telephone that plugs into the wall socket, a radio that sits atop the fridge and a pet macaw who squawks in my ear any tidbits he hears from other little birdies which happen to pass by.

My electronic equipment may seem outdated in 2022, but if anti-vaxxers and others are able to do this to Dr. Bonnie Henry then I’m delighted not to be a Twitter-user and completely comfortable to be out of their loop by not participating in their social media.

In my humble opinion, those who misuse social media to spread vile disinformation have one foot in their mouth and the other in the Twilight Zone, just like most politicians.

Bernie Smith,