While normally we try to stay above the social media fervor that can develop over certain issues, yesterday evening our Instagram and Facebook accounts were inundated with messages from outraged members of our community.
Apparently The Cliffton, a bar located in Patchogue, took a clandestine photograph of two patrons, and turned it into an extremely offensive and malicious post on Instagram. This post was not only a direct violation of the individual’s privacy but also directly attacked and potentially endangered a transgender woman. Not to mention, it is an incredibly poor business strategy to insult paying customers and then brag to the world that you have done so. We have blurred the victims’ faces here, but the original post did not, making it that much more egregious.
It seems this is not the first time The Cliffton has insulted patrons, members of the LBGT community, and even other beloved local businesses. A quick search revealed posts dating back months that were hash-tagged with racial and homophobic slurs that we will not repeat here, although you can find the evidence in screen shots all over Facebook, Reddit, Instagram, etc. Upon further digging, it seems there were also several Google reviews containing independent warnings from over 6 months ago about gay customers feeling bullied. (Note: You will no longer find these posts, as it seems that The Cliffton began deleting/editing old posts after the backlash began).
The Cliffton likely realized its error as it deleted the post shortly after it was it added and started cleansing their social media accounts of offensive posts, hashtags, and comments. However, as all too many have found out in this day and age, attempting to delete something from the Internet is much harder than it seems. In fact, it has seemingly galvanized the community into action. Hundreds have shared the post, commented on their social media pages, and posted negative reviews to Yelp, Facebook, and Google. Although we wish the circumstances were better, it is great to see Long Island, and the Patchogue community in particular, rallying together to show that actions like these are inexcusable and unacceptable.
As of this morning, comments have been restricted on The Cliffton’s Instagram account, and their Yelp page is no longer allowing new reviews. But that has done little to stop the social media fire from spreading. A peaceful rally has been organized for this coming Friday night at The Cliffton, with hundreds expected to attend. You can find more information at the protest event page by clicking here.
We reached out to The Cliffton for comment but have not received any response.
Where do we stand? Patchogue Today has zero tolerance for ignorance and hate. We are proud to support the LBGTQ community, and stand up for the local business owners and community members who make Patchogue such a great place to live, work, and visit.