This is What Happened to ‘Texarkana Cheers and Jeers’

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I quit. Well, after discussing with the moderators of the group, I decided to pull the plug and start over. There are a number of reasons why, but probably not what you are thinking.

“Texarkana Cheers & Jeers” began as “Texarkana Cheers”, and nobody cared. Out of curiosity, a professor at Texas A&M Texarkana suggested an experiment that simply added “jeers” to the group, then it blew up. At last count, there were 50,000 + local members. However, a little bit of negative can sure shadow the good. Yes, there were lots of comical posts, and a good time was had by plenty.

In other cities where our team has multiple social media platforms, we have similar groups, but for some reason, in Texarkana, it turned into “you gonna get dragged” for just about everything. People couldn’t seem to communicate without gutter talk. Everywhere we have these types of groups they are run by panels of moderators so that it can be as fair as possible, but in Texarkana, I don’t know if we could have enough moderators to keep up with the dumbassery.

I think a lot of it is because it is my home town, for some reason “Cheers and Jeers” was like a monster. When I wanted to walk away there were people saying please don’t “it’s so large if you stop it will just create copycats that won’t moderate”… Well, we have that anyway. There are all sorts of “Cheers and Jeers” something or other, some even use the same graphics as the original group, which really made it difficult to prove to people “No, that obviously false post is not in OUR group”.

I thought the best thing about it was if somebody got their feelings hurt or truly had a bad experience they would keep it local instead of Google Reviews, Yelp, etc… plus it was a way to move into a new way of business in the digital age with engagement through better consumer relations.

I would like to thank the moderators over the years. Many had to step back because of the negativity that came with that particular Facebook group. Moderators have received death threats, horrible comments and things said, scandalous lies, etc… all off of how somebody felt about their post being approved, or a comment being deleted. Ridiculous. Worse, it was the female moderators that got the worse kind of treatment from people, and frankly, it’s just too much. On top of this, with new Facebook regulations, people being ugly to each other in that group, could cost moderators their personal profiles. If Facebook catches you threatening somebody before a moderator does. The person that made the post and the moderators are all held accountable. All while working their jobs to live, because believe it or not, moderating a Facebook page pays squat. Their profiles are where they keep family photos, do their business pages, and such. Too much to lose for strangers having fun, or just being dumb.

The other day, a person that had said in the past, “No you can’t shut it down”. Tried to explain to me why they had to distance themselves from me, because of that group. He wasn’t the first, but for me, the last.

I live my life very publicly. No secrets, nothing to hide from, don’t have to remember any lies… so for me, that was a lot. I have been promoting Texarkana for 40+ years, and hate that for others that is what I am most tied to most. Nobody mentions the years of successful promotions for NASCAR, Sandals, and Beaches Resorts, and numerous radio and television stations, It’s always “the cheers and jeers guy”. Yuck. It never seemed that big of a deal to me, but I am trying to stay home now, where I’ll be buried, so I am thinking about it differently.

I want to promote the positive. Everybody has plenty of negatives, I want to go the other way. Texarkana FYI is committed to our local community, yes we share “news” but always hope to promote a new business, event, or the many fun activities in our area. We like to do live videos on Facebook with new business owners, or event planners. We talk to politicians but don’t want to hear about their politics, would rather hear about their family stories. It just seems that the fallout from that Facebook group just goes against all we think is possible for Texarkana. We sell advertising and a 360-degree approach to promoting business in the digital age. Dropping that group will reduce some of our reach, but hopefully, by doing what we always have we can rebuild that pretty quickly. So, we are going to try something else.

Now our current moderators, Jesse Tillis, Brandi Vickers, and Kassidi Hope have discussed this, and for supporting everything positive in Texarkana we would like to direct you to “We Love Texarkana“. There are plenty of review groups but if you are wanting to share supportive criticism or brag on a local business there is “Texarkana Rants & Raves“. For news and information you can go to the  “Texarkana FYI Group“, “Bowie County News & Reviews” or “Miller County News & Reviews“. Need a plumber, try “Ask Texarkana” For that wow factor of the silliness that you have experienced from the TaMolly’s Salsa-gate to the Purple Marker, the moderators are going to build “Texarkana WTF“.

Over the last years, many good things came from that group. Lost children were found, lost elderly were found, not to mention pets and stolen items. Crimes were solved. Successful businesses were built, I only know of one business that could blame that group for failing, but you would have to mention the owner was on there cussing customers out… so, bad with the good.

I would like to personally thank all of the people that have participated in that group as moderators. You have done a really good job with some of the craziest things you would ever imagine. The false accusations that you’ve endured, the horrible things said, the threats, you did well. I would also like to thank the thousands of people that participated in the many good things that took place in that group over the years. From helping neighbors to strangers to growing new businesses and making new real-life friends. The time we all got together for a little boy’s birthday party will always be a highlight of my life.

Have fun, be nice,

Jeff Easterling

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About Author

After more than 30 years with radio and TV stations, I decided to do my own thing by blogging. It affords me the ability to stay super involved in the community, but still, have plenty of time with my 3 new granddaughters and other local projects.

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