Saturday, June 15, 2013

Waxhaw Watertower goes viral?

In recent weeks, some person or persons has taken on the persona of the Waxhaw water tower and created a Facebook page in which he/she/they can sound off on Waxhaw. To the delight of some and the consternation of others would not be an understatement.

For the purpose of this write-up, I will presume there are multiple proprietors of the page since it'd be easier to maintain anonymity in a small town if this were the case. And based on early accounts, they were claiming to be male and female at different points of time. They've built up a pretty sizable audience of 400+ people thus far, a number of whom are rather active commenters.

 It is worth noting that I was Facebook friends with Waxhaw Water Tower (WWT) for a week or so to make it easier to see their Waxhaw-related posts before I realized that this essentially gave them access to all my Facebook posts. After events of the last year in Waxhaw, letting some anonymous person(s) see pictures of my family was unacceptable so I unfriended them. WWT did have a public page though so I could still check for updates manually.

Within the last 24 hours, public access to WWT's posts appears to have been removed, so I can no longer access them. (UPDATE: Late this evening I now see a couple new posts of his, but all posts and conversations up to that point are still disappeared.) Therefore, everything below is my recollection of what I read, so all the details may not be 100% accurate. I find it strange that they'd lock it down when they clearly seem to be cultivating an audience, but what do I know about how a water tower would behave?

The first day consisted of a number of negative early posts about various aspects of town, ranging from the harmless to unusually and unnecessarily slanderous (accusing the proprietor of a local business of literally being in bed with the police because of some sort of sidewalk sale).

A mention of a vague embarrassing moment regarding the mayor would later prove fortuitous to the operators of the page given the mayor's recent DWI arrest.

This early negativity seemed to split Waxhaw (or at least the portion of Waxhaw active on Facebook) between those who were unhappy with all the complaining, but likely more upset about the gossipy posts by the anonymous proprietors and those just lapping it up. A number of criticisms followed, which seemed to have an effect since they soon thereafter began making some positive comments that continue to this day. Nothing terribly significant, but thrown little bones about how Maxwell's Tavern is good and Commissioner Joyce Blythe did a good job at the town's Memorial Day ceremony.

Another immediate response was for others to set up alternative positive-only Waxhaw Facebook pages such as 'What's Up Waxhaw.' I suspect the community banter will be lacking in this group since bad things about Waxhaw are to not be discussed here.

Later responses included:

* A Water tower adult beverage currently available at the Main Street Grill.

* A Waxhaw Water Tower II (WWTII) Facebook page has been created. I would've gone with Son of Waxhaw Watertower personally but to each his own. In this new Facebook page, they quickly outed REDACTED and some co-conspirators as the original WWT. But within 24 hrs, these posts were removed. Kowtowed into silence by the accused? Perhaps we'll never know.

Who knows what next week will bring? Perhaps the bigger question is whether this blogger will even still be active enough to comment on it. If the lateness of this post is any indicator, don't count on it.

UPDATE 6/21: I am told my recollection as to the business WWT slandered was incorrect so I have updated accordingly. I have also removed the name of the rumored WWT temporarily due to a legal threat. 

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