B.C. man shamed for parking in disability space harassed online
Duncan B.C. man claims people have been driving past his house yelling, swearing
A man who was shamed on a Facebook page for parking his truck in a space reserved for people with disabilities says angry comments online have turned into personal attacks — claiming that some people have been driving past his house yelling and swearing at him.
After parking in the reserved space on Aug. 9 a photograph of Matthew Kwiatkowski's truck was posted on the popular Facebook page Shit Parkers of Victoria.
The post was widely shared and commented on.
Many people then posted negative reviews on the Facebook page of Kwiatkowski's excavating business.
Kwiatkowski, who said his truck has been on the page about ten times before, previously thought it was funny.
Now he feels the shaming has gone too far.
The Duncan B.C. resident said he uses his truck for his excavating business and said the photograph posted online displays his contact information which is the same for his home and work.
Claims people have driven by his house
"We've had a couple drive-bys of the house. People have been yelling [and] swearing at us," Kwiatkowski said.
Amanda Cook, who posted the photo of the parking job, said she only wanted to send a message.
"It made me a little upset, because I was in a wheelchair for a while when I was younger," Cook said.
"It's really hard to get around Victoria with the wheelchair ramps and the access ... so when somebody does that when there's limited space in the shopping centre it's not acceptable in my mind."
Social media expert Janni Aragon, an associate professor of political science at the University of Victoria, said the harassment has gone too far.
"It's mobbing, it's definitely mobbing," Aragon said.
"It's one thing to be publicly called out. It's another [thing] to be mobbed by the court of social media."
Kwiatkowski said he has learned his lesson.
"I'm really sorry about my parking around town. I will not be doing it anymore."
With files from CHEK and Megan Thomas