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City of Vancouver criticized for allowing racist comments flood live stream of anti-racism town hall

'The appalling behaviour of some of the commenters further reiterates the need for our anti-racism work,' the municipality said
tOWNhall
Photo: YouTube/City of Vancouver

Vancouver City representatives heard the concerns of Black and African diaspora during a virtual town hall on the topic of anti-Black racism Thursday.

However, the event didn’t go as planned – as a select group of people hijacked the live stream’s real-time comments feature to spew hateful and despicably racist ideologies, the city acknowledged Friday afternoon.

“We are both appalled and deeply disappointed by the racist, hateful comments posted to YouTube and Instagram during our virtual town hall,” the city posted on Twitter.

Initially, comments on YouTube and Instagram live streams were enabled to "provide a platform for thoughtful comments and questions to the panel,” the city said.

After the thread was swarmed by hate speech – including people adamantly denying the existence of racism and the lived experiences of Black Vancouver residents in the town hall – the municipality disabled the comment feature on both social media live streams:

“We made the decision to turn off the comment feature, only to see it spread that hatred spread to other social media channels,” said a city spokesperson.

"The appalling behaviour of some of the commenters last night further reiterates the need for our anti-racism work," it admitted. 

Vancouver residents took to social media Thursday to express their outrage with the city for not moderating the comments section better:

 

blm1(Instagram comments/City of Vancouver)
 

 

blm2(Instagram comments/City of Vancouver)
 

 

BLM3(Instagram comments/City of Vancouver)