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Vancouver Aquarium takes to social media to defend rescue of false killer whale

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The battle over whales and dolphins in captivity at the Vancouver Aquarium is heating up on social media.

A couple of local politicians have been on the receiving end of a few pointed tweets over the last few days.

Here’s a sample of the many tweets that have gone out, either directly from the aquarium’s account or retweeted from others:

Several tweets have been directed at Park Board Commissioner Constance Barnes, who has recently announced her intention to run for federal politics.

Another has targeted Sarah Blyth, who also has decided not to run for Park Board re-election.

 

 

SFU Marketing professor Lindsay Meredith says its clear the Aquarium is recognizing the power of social media, saying the method is a way of equalizing all voices.

“The whole idea here is you want to get as many people as you possibly can to understand your side of the story, and social network systems have proven to be amazingly efficient at getting those kind of messages out,” explains Meredith.

“The whole concept of social network systems is the new communications structure,” he adds. “It’s not to say mass media have disappeared — not by a long shot — but it is a new parallel system that a whole younger, different generation is now using for updating, for communicating. And that’s where you’re going to create… basically what I refer to as ‘critical mass.’

“That’s where you’re going to get enough consumers concerned enough where in fact they may well mount a concerted effort to have been pressured to say, ‘You know what? We do like killer whales. We do like dolphins. We do like the fact you try to rescue injured animals of this sort and take care of them,'” he adds.

“That kind of pressure is the kind of thing that’ll be sufficiently strong to offset the power, if you will, that some protesters are able to gather when they wave a few placards around in front of Park Board, saying let the… killer whale go,” adds Meredith.

This all stems from some comments Barnes made when the calf was rescued, along with her support for cetaceans being phased out at the Aquarium.