If this was Beverly Hills, the private Facebook group in question would have been forced to change their name years ago. That city has strict rules about anyone using its formal name.
We’ve already brought this problem up about a dozen times:
Burbank resident asks councilman to change name of Facebook group
A longstanding Facebook group has drawn criticism from a Burbank resident who says it needs to be more transparent.
For the past year and half, resident David Hunter said he has been frustrated and confused about a Facebook group called “City of Burbank” — a private group created by Councilman Jess Talamantes.
Hunter has tried to join the group — which as of Tuesday had 5,280 members — but has yet to have any luck. However, that is not why he is upset.
He should be. As a longtime activist, he’s being deliberately blocked.
He said he is frustrated that, although the Facebook group’s description is to promote open dialogue among residents in the city, the group’s administrators — Talamantes and his son, Scott — get to pick and choose who gets to be a part of the conversation.
We’ve also heard they censor any and all references to this blog. Whenever a reference happens to pop up over there, we’re told that somebody literally flees to their keyboard to report it.
“[The description of the group] is written as if this group is open to everybody that’s in Burbank — whether you work here, live here or have kids that go to school here, but clearly it’s not,” Hunter said.
Councilman Talamantes started the group nine years ago when he was first elected to City Council and wanted it to be a place where residents can stay informed about what was happening around Burbank, he said.
No it wasn’t. It was specifically designed to counteract the influence of this blog in particular right when the police mess was building up to a complete disaster for these people; as a well-promoted pro-Burbank booster site.
However, Talamantes said some group members became negative toward one another and the city, which was not what he wanted to happen.
“There was a lot of negative stuff, and I didn’t want that,” he said.
He’s lying. That site was private/closed from the very beginning. The Leader should have checked on this fact before letting him spout off such an evasive untruth.
Having his son be the group’s gatekeeper and weeding out negative members has worked out well so far, the councilman said.
“Somebody’s got to draw the line,” Talamantes said. “Anybody can start their own Facebook group or page. If somebody doesn’t like how this Facebook group is being run, start your own.”
That’s not the point, moron. What you’re doing is deliberately masquerading as a “City of Burbank” Facebook site. Because that’s what you think it is.
Hunter said he understands the councilman can have a private Facebook group, decide who gets to be a part of it and weed out those who are there to spread negativity.
What Hunter said he wants is for Talamantes and his son to consider changing the name of the group or even the group’s description so others aren’t misled into thinking it’s an all-inclusive group.
Dr. Karen North, director of USC Annenberg’s digital social media program and a clinical professor at the private university, concurred with Hunter, saying a similar conundrum came up when former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s social media staff members were deciding whether he should have an account called “The Mayor of Los Angeles” or an account bearing his name.
“As an elected official, [Councilman Talamantes] should not put up a page or a group that is the name of the city because it would suggest that it’s the city’s page,” she said. “But there’s probably no rule against it because it’s a private business.”
There is if the city requires a licensing of its name.
No? Let’s then open a City of Burbank weed store right across the border. Watch what happens.
First Amendment rights protect speech in a public setting but not in a private business or home, she added.
Though many social-media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are open to be viewed by the public, users still have the right and ability to block anyone they choose.
She’s completely missing the point. But Hunter has a good one here:
Hunter said Talamantes’ Facebook group reminded him of the issue surrounding President Donald Trump’s Twitter account, in which a New York judge ruled the president could not block users from reading his tweets.
“Twitter and Facebook are private businesses, and they can establish whatever rules they want,” she said. “Just because the president uses [social media] as a vehicle doesn’t make it into a public venue.
No, Talamantes is using the City of Burbank as a front for his own private Facebook page. And the city attorney is allowing him to do it.
Here’s an idea. Besides opening that pot store named for the Media City, let’s also set up an LGBTQ dating site with the same name.
It’d be great, and get a lot of web hits for sure. Find your late-night date right here at the City of Burbank “Intimate Connections” page!