Waikato District Health Board has had to block all comments to their Facebook page after a member of the anti-fluoridation community created two fake profiles using one of its doctor’s identities.
A fake Facebook profile was created using Waikato DHB Medical Officer of Health and community water fluoridation expert Dr Felicity Dumble’s name and photograph.
The other page used her name and a bag of chemicals as the profile picture.
The Waikato District Health Board and Making Sense of Fluoride pages were bombarded with postings by the two fake profiles.
The content was a jumbled message claiming fluoride was a toxic waste that was killing children, and contained numerous profanities.
“We recognise this may be someone on the fringe of the debate but it does show what some people will do to try to discredit our health professionals,” said Waikato DHB Director of Media and Communications Mary Anne Gill.
“It reinforces why we made the decision not to attend the meeting organised by Hamilton City Council on 30 September.”
She said the “tirade” had meant Waikato DHB was forced to close their Facebook profile to all comments and that the matter was reported to Facebook administration and the police immediately.
“It’s a shame because there was some great discussion happening on the page and some genuine enquiries around water fluoridation.
“For now however, the page will remain closed to comments however we are still able to put information up as we have it so hope people continue to visit it or our website www.waikatodhb.health.nz/fluoride
“Our Facebook page is also used for other health messages, recruitment and in addition members of the public often publicly thank our staff for the care they’ve received. It is disappointing we’ve had to do this. But we simply can’t have our staff being abused or threatened.”
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