TROLL FOOD…It’s been an insane few weeks. Squid watched as Hurricane Harvey ravaged Houston, Hurricane Irma devastated Florida and the Caribbean, and temperatures climbed above 100 degrees across the Central Coast. Meanwhile, wildfires scorched the West, as they do every summer these days. Yet there are still climate change deniers out there, including the governors of both Texas and Florida. But the reality that is climate change has become so obvious even Carmel Pine Cone editor Paul Miller wrote a Sept. 8 editorial about it, stating, “It’s time to start believing, people.” Miller may be a few decades late to the party, but better late than never!
Seaside Police Chief Robert Jackson, however, doesn’t seem to have arrived yet. On July 17, he shared a Conservative Tribune article on his Facebook page with the headline “Climate ‘Scientists’ Cancel 2018 Doomsday.” Squid started reading his other posts—which were viewable to anyone in the public—before the page went dark Sept. 8. Among them were pictures of his family, and articles about the Coast Guard, in which his son serves. Yet as Squid scrolled down, a number of posts made Squid’s maw drop. One was a post from Southern Rebel, the Facebook page for americasfreedomfighters.com, which shared an article from that site that lists Barack Obama’s accomplishments. Among them: “First president to hide his birth…records,” “First president to marry a man,” “First president to smoke crack cocaine in the White House,” and on and on it went. When Jackson, who came to Seaside from Turlock last November, shared the post, he added, “Impressive!”
Then there is a meme Jackson shared, with a picture of U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Los Angeles, and a screenshot of a tweet from a fake Waters account—@MaxineVVaters—that has since been suspended. (Notice the two V’s?) The tweet purports to show two pictures of Venice Beach (it’s not) during high and low tide, and Fake Waters writes, “Think climate change isn’t real?” which is followed with "#INPEACH" (sic). Below it, the subtitle of her fake Twitter post reads: “Can someone tell this retarded Democrat high tide and low tide are not impeachable offenses[?]”
Seaside City Manager Craig Malin says he was made aware of what was on Roberts’ page, but that he didn’t see it, just that someone described its contents to him. He would not comment on what action, if any, the city is taking as a result.
Squid’s colleague checked in with Jackson, who says “I love this community,” and that he wasn’t aware of how Facebook’s privacy settings work. “This is alarming to me,” he adds. “I didn’t realize it was that open to the public.”
More alarming: A police chief who doesn’t know how Facebook works, disseminates racist conspiracies and can’t sniff out a fake Twitter account.
Correction (9/13/17): After this column went to print, Squid realized Squid inaccurately quoted the Fake Water's account in saying that Trump should be "inpeached," when in fact it read "#INPEACH." Squid regrets the error.