By Rebecca Canales
Founder and CEO, Whittier 360 News Network
Greetings, loyal supporters and readers of Whittier 360 News Network,
I'm pleased to announce my return to the leadership role of Whittier 360 after a brief hiatus. As some of you may know, I was temporarily removed from administering our website and social media page due to disagreements over rule enforcement.
The central issue was a newly-imposed ban on the use of the "Ha Ha" emoji, a directive from American Posterity which I felt was applied too stringently. I've always believed that rules need to be applied judiciously and compassionately. Blanket bans without regard for the nuances of individual circumstances can often lead to unintended consequences. To put it plainly: justice without mercy can verge on despotism.
I've taken the time to review the existing contract between Whittier 360 News Network and American Posterity. According to its terms, any decision to remove me as the administrator of the Whittier 360 platforms requires a majority vote from the governing board of American Posterity. No such vote was ever held. My access had been unilaterally removed in direct violation of the contract and possibly contract law. Having clarified this point, my access to admin controls has been rightfully restored.
The "Ha Ha" Emoji Ban: An Ongoing Discussion
The ban on the "Ha Ha" emoji was initially instated based on foreign research, specifically a government-funded media source from New Zealand. While it's important to consider multiple viewpoints, I believe decisions impacting an American community should be influenced by American perspectives.
That said, I invite our readers to share any American sources that discuss the "Ha Ha" emoji as a hate symbol. Your input is crucial as we continue to investigate this matter and come to a balanced decision.
Revisiting the Rule
Effective immediately, I am lifting the ban on users who used the emoji singularly to express humor or irony. Additionally, I am suspending strict enforcement of the emoji ban until we gather more information and conduct a more comprehensive review.
Whittier 360 is built on the principles of fair reporting, community involvement, and justice—tempered by mercy. Your support during this transitional period has been invaluable, and I promise to continue steering this platform according to these principles.
Please feel free to share your thoughts and research on this or any other matters that concern you. Our commitment to an open dialogue remains steadfast.
Thank you for standing with Whittier 360 and with me.
Founder and CEO,
Whittier 360 News Network