The Kershaw County Sheriff’s department has a very active Facebook presence. But starting immediately, public comments are shutdown.
The announcement was made in a status update Thursday afternoon.
The comments made on the page under a Wednesday news release about the arrest of 5 men with guns for breaking into cars prompted the move, said Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews.
“The racist comments from both sides were just unbelievable,” he said.
He said when he checked the site Thursday morning, the entry had reached 45,000 people and there were more than 400 comments, “many of them vulgar, crude, hateful and vile,” Matthews said. “There were just a handful of edifying comments,” he added.
“I don’t monitor the page all the time but when I do, I’m constantly deleting vulgar and crude comments and barring people, I had just had enough,” he said.
Residents will still be able to send private messages to the Sheriff’s Department through Facebook and that has been a valuable resource for tips.
“People have sent us tips about someone driving crazy, or drug house activity and they will still be able to do that,” Matthews said.
When asked if he would reassess the public comment cut off down the road he said:
“If there’s a great spiritual revival in the U.S. and people change their hearts, I might.”