A controversial Texas state website that allows farmers and ranchers on the border to vent their frustration will stay up, despite the objections of some lawmakers.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples launched the website last week to bring attention to the dangerous situation on the Texas border with Mexico.
The website, Protectyourtexasborder.com, allows farmers and ranchers who live and work on the border to share pictures, videos and stories about their run-ins with drug cartels and human smugglers.
However, it's the site's chat-room that has generated some unanticipated controversy.
Earlier this week, it was reported that comments advocating violent behavior, such as setting land mines and tiger traps along the border were shared in the website’s chat room.
One person with the user name jcarrott wrote, “The most well known fighters of our Revolutionary war were not trained, they used hide and shot tactics that would work great today… If we — Americans — start shooting the bad guys, they will get the message!" 2$Bill: "…watch groups, community patrols, land mines, tiger traps and roving packs of rabid [weasels]." BTKKilla: “Killem all!!!! They are destroying or great country,” reported the Texas Tribune.
Comments like those prompted Texas State Senator Jose Rodriguez to call for the website to be taken down immediately.
In a letter to Staples, Rodriguez said the website “…does nothing more than create a forum that has already been used to promote violence and hate.”
Rodriguez also says the website unfairly portrays border towns.
But Staples is standing by the website. His office increased security on the site by requiring readers to sign up to log into the chatroom, and monitors will remove posts that contain threats, defamatory language, personal attacks or hate speech.
“Talk of vigilante action or hateful language is unacceptable and we are monitoring the board to delete such inappropriate language,” spokesman Bryan Black told Fox News in an email.
In fact, when we logged on to the chat-room, none of the previous comments was displayed.
Black says the postings were eliminated when the message board was made more secure. With or without the chat-room, the Commissioner’s office says the need for the website remains.
“We must have federal support to secure our borders, defeat our enemies and safeguard our national food supply," said Black.