Thursday, 13 March 2014

Lord Neil Gibson The Target Of Online Belizian Slander Campaign

  • Business Commentary
  • Belize
  • There has been a social media explosion over the past week involving a Las Vegas based business man named Lord Neil Gibson and the allegations of wrongdoing with regards to the election of Ralph Huang as Standard Bearer to the Cayo South District in Belize. This campaign has reached even as high up as accusations against the Minister of Trade and Investment Erwin Contreras. There seem to be several sources as to the majority of the discussion, but the most prominent and notable source is a news station called Channel 5 Belize and the associated website which has run several biased opinion pieces like the following while positioning them as vetted news.
    The real discussion to be undertaken involves the following factual items that have been supported and verified by all parties involved, including Channel 5 Belize. Gibson vocally and transparently supported the election of Huang for Standard Bearer, quoting on his own websites and public spaces that Huang "is a friend of mine and the right person for the job." Huang also verified his friendly relationship with Gibson in several interviews, having never denied Gibson's support for his campaign. Additionally, there have been several accusations of impropriety regarding several websites that were operated as discussion boards involving issues with regards to Belize, one under the url and one under the url Both these websites have been brought into question and used by the above named news organization to support claims of impropriety on both Gibson's and Huang's part, going as far as to involve Contreras in the discussion as to the election of Huang being somehow suspect. It is quite apparent that either the Channel 5 Belize news organization as a whole, or some individual within the organization itself, is utilizing the airwaves as well as multiple social media sites like Youtube, Facebook and others in order to attempt to throw the election of Huang and his involvement with Gibson into question, the most obvious motivation being political gain or the defeat of a candidate they supported. To address the facts that have been circulated and twisted in order to cause doubt on the validity of the election or the relationship of Huang to Gibson, there is nothing illegal or improper whatsoever for a business man to support and contribute towards to election of a candidate he favors. Huang never attempted to hide his relationship with Gibson, or deny that there were contributions to his election campaign. Allegations of corruption must come from the potential contribution to a campaign in exchange for some favor or other improper action in order to be valid and substantiated, and there has been no evidence presented in any capacity that there has been any promise made to Gibson of any kind by Huang in exchange for his support. Until Channel 5 Belize can produce such evidence, their allegations of corruption must be called into question and their motivations must be scrutinized.
    The issue of the urls has also been grossly misrepresented by Channel 5 Belize on both their newscast as well as their Youtube Channel, where they reference the urls as being somehow misleading as to their intention. Channel 5 Belize insinuates in their broadcasts that these websites are somehow attempting to divert users away from the true Channel 5 website, or the true Central Bank Of Belize websites. During the very broadcast in which they made these allegations and the Youtube version that followed, they showed a screen-capture of one of the two sites, obviously an online chat-board which bears no resemblance whatsoever to either of the true sites in question. There are no elements even closely resembling banking or news information on either website, and in reality the websites were chat-style blog communities where users could post information and opinions on Belizian issues, including Lord Neil Gibson and his development projects in Belize. The only aspects of the websites that were even remotely questionable were the urls themselves as they bore a resemblance to the Channel 5 url and the Central Bank url. In this case as well, nothing illegal or improper was ever circulated via these spaces as they were used only to discuss Belizian issues, and never made a single claim that they were even remotely associated with the organizations, let alone were pretending to be them. The allegations made by Channel 5 Belize must be called into question once again due to these misleading claims of improper actions on Gibson's or Huang's part, and their motivations for putting these types of stories out as actual news must be scrutinized as far as their motivations.
    Political corruption is a global problem, but the accusations of political corruption should come from some basis of speculation that is more concrete than the single element that Channel 5 references over and over again in their broadcasts, a statement from an anonymous person in an article stating that "Lord Gibson is a fraud," which can be seen and referenced here. The real problem with this accusation holding any water when used to put Gibson, Huang, Contreras or any other Belizian politician into doubt is that it comes from their very own website, and is unsubstantiated by facts in any way. It is simply an opinion piece put out by a person who obviously dislikes Gibson enough to write an article about him, but is not valid enough to actually have credit for authorship taken. Obviously put forth as part of a large scale slander campaign that utilizes the internet in order to cast doubt as to Gibson's reputation through manipulation of search engine results for "Lord Neil Gibson" and variations of his name, this is just another invalid attempt to mislead internet researchers by exploiting Google's weaknesses as far as truth goes, that they do not vet the validity of the statements put forth in postings. Essentially, posts that are on more popular blogs and websites will rank higher than less popular ones, casting the reputations of those being written about into the hands of the most "popular bloggers." It is a shame when these bloggers pretend to be news organizations, as the misrepresentation of the facts can cause innocent people to be judged unfairly. Wouldn't it be wiser to question Huang's stances or Gibson's campaign contributions after something seemingly improper actually took place? If a Las Vegas businessman cannot go online to his own website and put a Youtube video praising the election of his friend to a position of government, then seemingly it would be better for nobody to ever take credit, and the public would be more comfortable with contributions that are made completely in secret, and do not use the web to specifically tell the people of Belize that a contribution was made? The real question here seems to be "who are the actual corrupt people in Belize?" From what we can tell so far, it seems like it is the editors for Channel 5.

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