Lisa Helps
Image by City of Victoria

Lisa Helps’ name pops up often on Facebook, but soon it seems she’ll only be a topic of discussion in comment sections, rather than an active part of them.

In a blog post entitled “Why I’m Quitting Facebook” Mayor Helps revealed that she’s had enough of the increasingly troubled social media platform.

Algorithms and Attention

“Facebook has become a toxic echo chamber where people who have anything positive to say are often in defense mode against negativity and anger,” wrote Helps.

She cited several studies and articles detailing the power of Facebook’s algorithms

“I’m quitting Facebook so I stop contributing in any way to this cycle of psychological violence where fear and anger get more air time than joy, where opinions become hardened in the absence of facts or dialogue and where division rather than much-needed connection is the norm,” Helps continued.

Still Many Ways to Keep in Touch

Helps made sure to list the myriad ways in which the public can still get ahold of her, including via email (mayor@victoria.ca), by phone (250-661-2708 or 250-361-0200), on air on CFAX any Friday between 3 – 4 pm, at a Lunch Time Lecture at City Hall, or at a Community Drop In.

Facebook Post:

Disclaimer: Tech is the number one industry in Victoria with amazing, innovative and entrepreneurial people working in…

Posted by Lisa Helps on Thursday, March 22, 2018

Mixed Response

In the brief time since Helps made her announcement, responses have ranged from supportive to critical.

“Great info, Lisa. I think your strategy for weaning yourself off of it will be what I do, too,” wrote one Facebook commenter.

“Boom. So relevant. I too am getting tired of responding to “angry” people who don’t have or care to find the facts about an issue. Bravo!” wrote another.

But almost inevitably – given the subject of her post – the comment section wasn’t all positive reinforcement.

“First Facebook…. then her job!” wrote one commenter.

“Can’t handle the heat? Then get out of the kitchen, or in this case City Hall,” another person wrote.

As of publication, Helps has yet to delete her Facebook account entirely, but she described how she had been “weaning” herself off of the platform over the past few weeks.

“I first deleted the Facebook app from my phone. Then from my iPad. And finally, I changed my web browser home page. The final step is to close down my Facebook account … It makes me nervous just typing this,” she wrote.

After seeing yet another comment section peppered with negative feedback, that deletion likely won’t be too far in the future.