Nanaimo satire site under fire after post using RCMP logo

Image on the Nanaimo Beacon's Facebook page

Nanaimo police are asking a satirical publication for a retraction after they posted a message over their social media platforms under the Nanaimo RCMP logo. 

The Nanaimo Beacon's post, which was shared over two thousand time on Facebook, read:

"Please avoid committing crime while we are dealing with the snow today. It's really cold outside and we'd prefer if you'd do something nice for a change like ----- I dunno.... build a snowman or something? They're calling for snow tomorrow so please refrain from doing bad things tomorrow too. kthxbai "

RCMP Media spokesperson Constable Gary O'Brien said they were made aware after it was retweeted and there was a post attributed to it from another police department in the Lower Mainland.

"At that time, a lot of people were posting it and making comments. We are not happy with it at all."

"It's not the language we would use. We are going through a very significant stage, we're having inclement weather and there are people's lives at risk. So for that to come out at this point is inappropriate. We have reached out to them, let them know we are displeased, and we are waiting for a retraction from them to be posted saying they do not have, nor will they ever have, permission to use our logo." 

A spokesperson from The Nanaimo Beacon, who wished to remain anonymous, pointed out that their website, all social media accounts, and the post itself clearly state that they are a satirical publication. 

On their Facebook page, the post in question reads "Note: This is satire. The Nanaimo RCMP did not actually write this. We did." 

"Luckily, we live in a country where satire is protected speech," said the spokesperson. "All that said, we're thrilled that the RCMP have chosen to provide us with this gift of additional exposure. Just this past week, the Nanaimo Beacon donated more than $1,000 to Literacy Central Vancouver Island, which was $0.05 for every single comment on our Facebook posts last year. We're super thankful to Cst. O'Brien for perhaps even helping us exceed that in 2020."   

On whether the post is being taken too seriously by the RCMP,  O'Brien said, "We take our job quite seriously. We use our social media for a reason, to get important messages out to the public, we don't post satirical messages nor will we ever. We hope the public recognizes that we are not overreacting and that we take our jobs very seriously."

Other RCMP detachments in the Lower Mainland found humour in the post, the Abbostsford RCMP retweeted saying "Yes... what @NanaimoRCMP said."

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