#CasinoMike Baird Copping The Backlash Hard, Accused Of Deleting Comments
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Yesterday, he finally responded to a rising swell of criticism against Sydney's aggressive lock-out laws; it did not go well. In fact, the backlash to his Facebook post – in which he claimed Sydney is "more vibrant than ever" and dismissed community anger as "rising hysteria" – could be termed a category 5 shitstorm.
And a running theme among the 10,000+ comments on his post? Why does he make no mention of The Star Casino in Pyrmont, which was notably avoided by the lockout law parameters?
Baird / his media team had a standard cut-and-paste answer that downplayed the increase in violence around Pyrmont and generally left much to be desires: "More recent data shows that any recent increases in assaults in areas like Newtown or near The Star appear to be small relative to the significant decreases in assaults elsewhere."
You can see that sentence buried in a wall of text here:
It wasn't long before #CasinoMike was a thing, and that thing was trending:
In addition to the still-continuing backlash, Baird is now getting accused of deleting comments by the thousand.
"So earlier Mike Baird's comment count was down to 5,000-ish," he wrote. "Now back at 8000+. The official count is actually up at 11,585. 3,000+ comments deleted. What are you ashamed of Mike Baird?"
And in another comment thread, Skinner has collected screenshots of people who say their comments were deleted.
There's also a fair bit coming out of Twitter:
When we spoke to Mike Baird's office earlier, they flat-out denied that comments had been deleted.
"We reject that statement," a spokesperson told P.TV, while another staff member suggested it could be Facebook's algorithm, which sometimes hides comments that contain swear words.
(As a Facebook page that attracts a fair share of comments, we can confirm that yes, Facebook does sometimes hide comments for profanities or excessive caps, but that it is a rarity and the page manager has the option to unhide it. It is also our experience that an automatically hidden comment is still visible to the original poster.)
Twitter user Natasha Stuart informed P.TV that her comment was also deleted, so we asked if a) it contained profanities and b) if she had screenshots.
@alexbrucesmith I wish I had thought to take one - had no idea I would be deleted for expressing an opinion in a thought out, polite way!— Natasha Stuart (@NatashaStuart) February 9, 2016
@alexbrucesmith absolutely NO swearing! No name calling, just my opinion. Apparently that's unacceptable!— Natasha Stuart (@NatashaStuart) February 9, 2016
The Premier's office didn't comment on Baird's replies sidestepping direct questions about bias towards the casino, directing us to the Bureau of Crime instead.
@alexbrucesmith (no caps either)— Natasha Stuart (@NatashaStuart) February 9, 2016
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