Speaking during the January 5 sitting of the House of Assembly, Premier Fahie said he doesn’t pay much attention to ‘bloggers’ as some news sites have been arranged to publish negative comments about him.
He also said oftentimes, numerous negative comments are being left by a few individuals.
“I know that there are certain sites that they have organised to blog Fahie to smithereens. A gentleman met me and he said, ‘Fahie, you know you gotta be careful because one or two of these sites — they’re blogging, blogging, blogging’. I said, ‘man, listen to me, an unknown entity blogging seven, eight times; I must get tempted over them? Tell them to put their real names and come forward,” Premier Fahie stated.
Premier Fahie isn’t the only elected leader who has expressed an opinion about online commenters. When giving speeches in the House of Assembly, elected leaders often refer to opinions expressed in the comments sections of online news sites.
Local online news sites allow readers to leave their comments below news stories.
In the BVI, many people are often afraid of disclosing their identities when expressing popular and unpopular opinions.
This is believed to be part of the reason the comments section — more commonly known as the ‘blogs’ — are favoured by readers.
Individuals are not required to disclose their identity and the comments are seen as a safe medium for persons who fear their public opinions could lead to victimisation and public scrutiny.
It is possible for one person to leave multiple comments below a single story. As a news site with an open comments section, BVI News often makes an effort to filter multiple comments left by the same person once they are tagged and determined to have a hidden agenda to attack one person or entity.