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Wadsworth Neighbors: Our Viral News Source

With the use of Facebook groups on the rise, Wadsworth Neighbors, a group made specifically for the Wadsworth community in March of 2020, has immensely grown to over 20,000 members. With the influx in membership, however, Wadsworth Neighbors has evolved to become one of the most popular platforms used by businesses and community members alike for a variety of purposes.
The group, which was created by Wadsworth native, Jim Eucker, was originally made to help members of the community through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tuan Duong, a top contributor, discusses his reasons for posting on Wadsworth Neighbors. Duong has been an active member since the beginning of 2020. Screenshot from Grace Barrett. 

“I started it to try to help people out,” Eucker said. “It was during COVID and all the stores were running out of products. I looked for a Wadsworth site so I could tell people where I found different things but to my surprise, there really wasn’t one.”
Despite being the first of its kind in the community, Wadsworth Neighbors grew its membership quickly, gaining around 1,000 followers in 24 hours. However, with this popularity growth, the group’s original purpose quickly faded.
“I wanted it to be completely positive posts only, but unfortunately, people being people, that proved to be a lot to ask for,” Eucker said. “The group grew so fast that I had to appoint [moderators]. I don’t have time to go through 100 posts a day to approve them, so I tried finding people who would help me to keep it as positive as possible and hopefully keep to my vision of trying to help our neighbors like people do in small communities.”
Beyond monitoring what gets posted within the group, Eucker finds that there are a variety of opportunities made available to Wadsworth companies. Small businesses and job-seeking teenagers have utilized the group to communicate and get in contact with those interested in their services.
“I think it helps out many people; [it] seems to be free advertising for local companies,” Eucker said.

In using the platform as advertising, organizations, including The Bruin, have used the platform to reach many people in a short period of time. Specifically, eight out of the top ten most-read online articles posted by The Bruin have also been posted on Wadsworth Neighbors, causing their view count to climb.

Despite the positive environment that Wadsworth Neighbors initially fostered, there have been various occasions that have uprooted negativity within the community. For Eucker and his moderators, this has been one of the most substantial struggles in maintaining the integrity of the group. In March of 2023, a group of Neo-Nazis from across the nation protested the “Rock-n-Roll Drag Queen Story Hour” presented in Memorial Park, one of the city parks within Wadsworth. Prior to this event, members of Wadsworth Neighbors disputed the city’s decision to grant a drag queen the necessary permit for the story hour. As these arguments regarding the presence of the Neo-Nazis escalated, Eucker and his moderators were left with a difficult situation to handle.
“Well, me and all my mods had to deal with so much when the Nazis came to town,” Eucker said. “[It was] so hard to allow info on that while keeping things positive.”

Post made in Wadsworth Neighbors attaching a video of the Neo-Nazi protests in Memorial Park. In the days leading up to the event, many arguments over the “Rock-n-Roll Drag Queen Story Hour” took place in the comment section of posts. Screenshot by Drew Bowerman.

Regardless of having to filter the posts, Wadsworth Neighbors was the first news source where information about the events surfaced. Popular Cleveland news source, News 5 Cleveland, posted one of the first articles at 6:13 p.m. while Wadsworth Neighbors published information around 2 p.m.
Due to the group’s ability to quickly spread information like this, many users utilize the page to find information about uncovered issues and to share thoughts and opinions with a large audience. For example, questions such as, “What is going on in Wadsworth, I’ve heard a million sirens nonstop for the last 15 minutes” and “Anybody know what that loud bang or explosion was down by Third Street and Durling Tuesday around 3ish,” have prompted other group members to comment about the gossip they have heard.

Beyond this, many users post within the platform to express anger, gaining attention from members with opposing opinions about these controversies. Specifically, when a new roundabout was installed at State Route 57 and Seville Road in Wadsworth, the page flooded with posts either defending or disputing the city’s choice to begin construction.
Overall, with 21.5k members, Wadsworth Neighbors has become one of the most popular community Facebook groups, news sources, and expressive platforms in the area.


WADSWORTH NEIGHBORS UNCENSORED

Wadsworth Neighbors’ popularity has not stopped other Facebook groups from gaining attention. Particularly, Wadsworth Neighbors Uncensored, a less mediated version of Wadsworth Neighbors, has grown within the past few years after being created by Wadsworth native, Jeremy Csatlos.
Csatlos began Wadsworth Neighbors Uncensored after noticing that his posts on Wadsworth Neighbors were being taken down. Along with this, he discovered that he had been suspended from posting in the group.
“I decided I was going to start an uncensored page because I was tired of censorship on the internet and I’m tired of censorship on social media,” Csatlos said. “I wanted to create a medium where people could just speak their minds.”
While Wadsworth Neighbors members have tried to discuss controversial and inappropriate topics, Wadsworth Neighbors Uncensored has provided an outlet where the nature of these posts has thrived.

For example, the page quickly grew in popularity as the controversy surrounding the 2020 presidential election reached its peak.
“If you go back to the very beginning of the page, back when Biden first took office, there was a lot of back and forth about Trump and Biden,” Csatlos said.
However, despite heated arguments taking place, Csatlos avoided removing posts and comments unless necessary.
“I only pulled off that page because the confrontational nature of their arguments started to lean towards violence,” Csatlos said. “And I will not put up with that.”
This has continued since the election, with the group seemingly becoming a hotspot for Republican users to post political cartoons and jokes, as well as information about current political issues.
Regardless of these posts, according to Csatlos, the political and entertainment nature of the page has decreased since its start with many posts coming from local small businesses as a form of advertising. However, with the page growing to have over 1.5k members, Csatlos must work to maintain this community-focused aspect within the group.

“We are accepting new members every day; the page is constantly growing,” Csatlos said. “I do some screening to make sure that I’m not getting people from outside the state.”
In order to keep up with the Facebook group while being an active duty member of the Navy, Csatlos recruited moderators to sort through new member requests and prevent posts that include threats or violence, one of whom being his brother Jeffrey Csatlos, who has shared a similar passion since the group was formed.
“It doesn’t matter if you are Republican, Democrat, or anything in between,” Jeffrey Csatlos said. “That’s something that we were taught in the military; that this is what we are fighting for. For everyone in America to be able to voice their opinion as long as it’s constructive.”
Overall, Csatlos feels that Wadsworth Neighbors Uncensored has become a safe space for members of the Wadsworth community to express themselves without risking censorship.

 

 

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About the Contributors
Grace Barrett, Entertainment Editor
Grace Barrett is the Entertainment Editor for the Bruin and has been on the staff for two years. Her favorite departments to write in are Features and In-depth, and the articles she is most proud of include her news story about the shooting at MSU, her article about the Grizzly Academy, as well as any article that covers a member of the community outside of the Wadsworth City School District. Her favorite parts about being in the Bruin are getting to interact with people from around the country, and designing layouts for her in-print pages.
Drew Bowerman, Features Editor
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