I quit. After a discussion with the moderators, I decided to end the group and start over. There are many reasons, but it is not likely what you think.
“Texarkana Cheers & Jeers,” which was originally “Texarkana Cheers”, was not a popular name. A professor from Texas A&M Texarkana suggested a simple experiment to add “jeers” into the group. It then exploded. There were approximately 50,000 local members at the time of writing. But, there is always a shadow of the good. There were many funny posts and everyone had a great time.
We have similar groups in other cities that use multiple social media platforms. However, in Texarkana, it became “you gonna be dragged” for almost everything. People couldn’t communicate without using gutter talk. These types of groups are found all over the world. They are managed by moderators who ensure that everything is fair. However, in Texarkana, I’m not sure if there would be enough moderators to handle all of the dumbassery.
It is my hometown, so I believe a lot of it. “Cheers and Jeers”, however, was like a giant. People told me to not walk away because it was so large that if I stopped it would just create copycats that won’t moderate “…. But, we have that anyway. There are many “Cheers and Jeers” and some even use the exact same graphics as the original group. This made it hard to prove that the “clearly false” post was not in OUR group.
It was my opinion that if someone was hurt or had a really bad experience, they would keep it local, instead of Google Reviews and Yelp. Plus, it was a way for them to transition into a new business model in the digital age, with better customer relations and engagement.
The moderators have been a blessing over the years. Because of the negative comments and actions taken by that Facebook group, many had to resign. There have been death threats to moderators, horrendous comments, and even lies said about them, depending on how they felt about their posts being approved or deleted. Ridiculous. It was worse, the moderators were female, which is just absurd. A new Facebook regulation could mean that moderators’ personal profiles could be destroyed if people are rude to one another in the group. Facebook will not allow you to threaten someone before a moderator. All moderators and the person who posted the message are held responsible. They do this while still working to support their families. Their profiles contain their family photos and business pages. Strangers can have fun or be dumb.
A person who had once said, “No, you can’t shut down it” came up to me the other day. They tried to explain to me why they had distanced themselves from me because of that group. He wasn’t the only one, but he was the most important for me.
My life is very public. There are no secrets, there is nothing to hide, and you don’t need to remember any lies… that was enough for me. I have been promoting Texarkana since the 1970s, and I hate it for others. No one mentions my many years of success in promoting Sandals, NASCAR and Beaches Resorts. It’s always been “the cheers-and-jeers guy”. Yuck. This never seemed like a big deal to me. However, I am now trying to stay at home, where I will be buried.
I promote the positive. Everyone has their negatives. I want to promote the positive. Texarkana FYI has a strong commitment to the local community. We share “news”, but we also hope to promote a business, an event, or any other fun activities within our region. We enjoy live video chats on Facebook with event planners and business owners. We don’t like to hear politics from politicians, but we love to hear their stories. The fallout from the Facebook group seems to be against everything we believe is possible for Texarkana. We offer advertising services and a 360-degree approach for promoting businesses in the digital age. Although dropping that group will decrease our reach, we hope to rebuild it quickly by using what we have always done. We are going to do something different.
Our current moderators, Jesse Tillis and Brandi Vickers have already discussed the matter. We would like to refer you to ” We Love Texarkana” for all of our positive support. There are many review groups, but if your goal is to give constructive criticism or brag about a local business, Texarkana Rants & Raves is the place. You can find news and information at the ” Texarkana FYI Group”, the ” Bowie County News & Reviews” and ” Miller County News & Reviews.” Do you need a plumber? Try ” Ask Texarkana”. The moderators will build ” Texarkana.”
These people have been instrumental in many positive outcomes over the years. Many good things were achieved by this group, including the rescue of lost children and elderly, as well as pets and stolen property. The problem of crime was solved. There were many successful businesses. I don’t know of any business that failed to succeed, but it is possible to blame the owner for his failure.
I want to thank everyone who participated as moderators in that group. You’ve done an amazing job dealing with some of the most bizarre things you could imagine. You have done a great job despite the false accusations, threats and horrible things you’ve been subject to. Thanks to the thousands of people who participated in the many positive things that occurred in this group over the years, I’d also like you to thank them. You helped neighbors and strangers, as well as started new businesses and made new friends. It will be forever a highlight in my life to remember the time we all got together at a little boy’s birthday party.