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  • Writer's pictureSandee Caviness

Freedom of Expression is Alive & Well in Munds Park!

Updated: Sep 1, 2022

Free speech absolutest Kela Montoya Kinner and Mark Giebelhaus
Kela Montoya Kinner and Mark Giebelhaus | Photograph by Barbara Sherman, digital art by Sandee Caviness

Lost a dog, pigs on the loose, Elk on the run, turkeys waddling, strangers wondering, the snow is coming, stuck in the snow, trash is flying, painted rocks to find, painted rocks to hide, flowers are blooming, clouds are rolling in, dogs are barking, fire danger is high, stuff to sale, where do I find, who do you recommend... all of this, you can find on a variety of Munds Park Facebook groups.

Facebook groups are an excellent way for people to customize their social media experience and connect with people who have similar interests. We’ve counted over ten different groups specific to Munds Park, but there is no group as interesting and free as What’s Happening in Munds Park and Around the World. This Facebook group is bold, sometimes confrontational, and not for delicate flowers. Everything is open for discussion—even politics. This is the group where you go when you want unfiltered, uncensored content. There are only a few ways you can get kicked off the site, but it’s clear, absolutely no sniveling allowed.

Freedom of speech is a critical stitch in the fabric of democracy and is front and center of current debate. As Americans grapple with how much censorship they are willing to tolerate, the creators of What’s Happening in Munds Park and Around the World, Kela Montoya Kinner and Mark Giebelhaus, are free speech absolutists. They have no tolerance for censorship, and that is why some have referred to them as the Elon Musks of Munds Park.

In 2017, frustrated with the limitations of other groups, Kela started the group What’s Happening in Munds Park. She wanted a platform where people could write openly, say what they believe, and not worry about being censored or blocked. Further, she knows many small business owners in the Park, and she wanted to give them the space and freedom to post on their schedule and as frequently as needed. A few weeks after Kela started the page, Mark got booted from a Munds Park group for telling a joke, so he joined Kela’s page and soon became an admin.

Mundsies realized they had a place to express themselves, and they did just that. Soon politics entered the conversations, especially around election season, prompting debate and disagreements, and sometimes it got heated. Calls for Kela and Mark to limit the discussions to Munds Park topics only left the free-speech duo with no choice. They changed the name of the Facebook group from What’s Happening in Munds Park to What’s Happening in Munds Park and Around the World. The message? Please proceed.

Kela and Mark have three rules.

No Bullying.

No Trolling.

No Reporting Posts.

The third rule pertains to ‘no sniveling.’ Members who report content they personally find offensive are grounds for removal. Members get three chances. After that, they are out. But not before Kela makes a public statement. She will screenshot the report, call the offended out by name, and tell them, “If you are butt-hurt over something you read—Grow up! We beleive in free-speech. Don’t like what you read? Keep on scrolling or remove yourself from the group!” and the page goes wild.

You don’t have to be on the page long before learning Kela is the spicy one, and Mark is the diplomat. A perfect Ying and Yang with one message, how you respond to speech is your responsibility. As long as no one is being personally attacked or bullied, speech should not be limited because someone takes offense or simply doesn’t like what they read.

Their philosophy is simple. Say what’s on your mind, even if it’s political, and it doesn’t matter what side you are on—It only matters that you have the freedom to speak your mind.


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