Our site will shortly be undergoing a number of changes in the interests of improving the security and privacy of our site visitors, volunteers and board members. Currently scheduled changes include:
- Volunteers’ personal contact details to be removed from the site
- Board Members’ personal contact details to be removed and replaced with one set of contact details for Shining Waters
- Registered members’ details to be reviewed and minimised to the most basic information required to allow users to login to the site
- All log files to be purged on a monthly basis
- Member registration to be closed (temporary) pending a review of the sign-up process
- Anonymisation of any personal data held on the site
- Removal of requirement to submit name and email address when leaving a comment
We decided to make these changes after a local councillor, Mark Hood attacked some of our board members through social media. This included councillor Hood trying to doxx and cyber-mob our board members on Twitter and Facebook. We have also noted that councillor Hood repeatedly uses social media against residents if they publicly express a view which disagrees with councillor Hood.
Doxxing is the act of publishing a name and address on social media with malicious intent.
Cyber-mobbing is the act of using the internet to threaten and harrass an individual.
In this case both methods were deployed by councillor Hood to encourage the harrasment and vilification of an individual who had made an objection to a planning application promoted by councillor Hood. Fife Labour joined in the attacks on Twitter.
The larger concern about councillor Hood’s behaviour is that it suggests to people that if they object to a planning application which councillor Hood supports, they are liable to be exposed, vilified and harassed on social media. Such behaviour infringes people’s legitimate right to comment on planning applications.
Our board member that was the main target does not want to be named to avoid further grief says;
“It was a shock to see my name and address put on social media, I have never seen this happen to anyone else before. Even more shocking to discover that it was a senior councillor who done it. Surely I have a democratic right to object or support an application as an individual regardless if I am a member of Shining Waters or any other organisation. This was a form of bullying. As a councillor he should be representing me as much as anyone else. I thought councillors were their to represent constituents and not bully them.”
The doxxing and cyber-mobbing incidents is now the subject of a complaint.
Although councillor Hood represents the Labour Party, we would like to stress that councillor Hood’s behaviour does not reflect in any way on Scottish Labour, as we trust that his online conduct is not condoned by his party.