‘I can take criticism:’ Victoria mayor deactivates Twitter account following negative comments

'I can take criticism:' Victoria mayor deactivates Twitter account following negative comments
Lisa Helps/Twitter
Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps deletes her Twitter account following negative comments on her tweets.

Victoria’s mayor has deleted her Twitter account after receiving a rash of critical comments.

Mayor Lisa Helps deleted her account from the popular social media platform after users posted negative and “irrelevant” comments critical of her performance following a series of tweets she made highlighting recent positive news in Victoria.

“When I post these things and people immediately pile on with negativity and comments that are irrelevant to the matter in the post, it does a real disservice to these business-led and citizen-led efforts. It creates an ongoing negative story about our city,” Helps said in a blog posted on her website Sunday.

There were two posts that Victoria’s mayor made that attracted negative comments. One was about the recently announced Oceans Future Innovation Hub and the other was about a wooden dock with a tree that had been installed in the Gorge Waterway.

Helps said in her blog those posts resulted in people “jumping into the Twitter feed with comments that were negative and focused on homelessness and tenting.”

Before deleting her account, Helps tweeted on Saturday afternoon that negative people should try “looking on the bright” for a change.

“Dear negative people with your irrelevant comments: The stories we tell about our city matter. The Ocean Futures Innovation Hub is a story about our city’s future. Looking on the bright side once in a while is really good for the soul! Try it!” Helps tweeted.

Social media platforms such as Twitter can be an environment filled with negativity and toxicity, particularly for politicians.

Helps wrote on her blog that she can handle criticism, but deleted her account because she is tired of her account becoming a distraction.

“I can take criticism. You don’t sign up for a job like this if you can’t. But the reason I’ve deactivated my Twitter account, is that the stories we tell about our city matter,” Helps wrote, later adding. “I’m taking a break from Twitter to give all these community efforts the opportunity to shine, without detraction on my Twitter feed.”

Victoria’s mayor, however, said she would consider returning to Twitter when the time “feels right.”


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