Health Department Finds High Levels of Toxicity in Community Facebook Group; Urges Caution

LA CROSSE, WIS — The La Crosse County Health Department is issuing a warning Wednesday, after discovering dangerously high levels of toxicity present in a La Crosse based community group.

“You might be from La Crosse….if…..” is a public group on Facebook with over 15,000 members dedicated to sharing old pictures and stories for reminiscing about the La Crosse area. However, according to the health department, most posts either devolve into passive aggressive arguments over race relations, or are outright racist and antagonizing posts to begin with.

“It has become quite toxic and we strongly recommend steering clear of that group for at least a week to twenty years and letting some of that toxicity subside,” health department director Wren Jenballskee said. 

Health officials said safe levels of toxicity sit at a percentage of about 4% per daily post (PDP). Upon the latest testing, “You might be from La Crosse….if…..” sat just above 68% PDP. Jenballskee says the toxicity levels may continue to rise before we see it finally fall off.

“There are a lot of much older, annoyingly vocal white people in that group and we’ve just had a major change for the better when it comes to the removal of the Hiawatha statue.” Jenballskee added. “Trust me… the combination of those two things will make for some higher toxicity in the coming weeks before they finally lose steam.”

County Health indicated that levels may be back to normal when the majority of posts consist of things like, “Hey, ‘member Mr. D’s??”.

Reporters Sam Shilts and Rachel Ruebens contributed to this article.