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3 Times it’s OK to Gossip First.

9 May

We all know it’s not ok to gossip about someone else, especially when meant with the purpose of hurting them. But, what about the instances when it’s actually better to gossip first, which might actually save someone from being hurt?

Here are 3 times is MORE than ok, in fact, it’s ADVISED to gossip first.

  1.  If you are thinking about starting a sentence with “I don’t want to offend you, but…” and planning to follow it up with “are you expecting again?” maybe just do your due diligence and GOSSIP FIRST. Ask someone else! Go ahead! Ask other people, if your co-worker who is a mother of a 10 month old and still breastfeeding, is pregnant again, BEFORE you ask her yourself. I promise you, it will save her from feeling that the world sees her as large as she sees herself.
  2. If someone is looking a little pudgy and you’re really hopeful they’re pregnant. GOSSIP FIRST. Chances are, someone will know and even if they do know and don’t tell you the truth, it’s better to ask around, before you ask the person directly. Because #donuts are a thing too, and not all pudgy tummies are carrying an extra set of arms and legs.
  3. Just don’t ask anyone if they’re pregnant ever. Because, if you do, you’re basically just saying “hey fatty, what’s good!”

Ok, I failed. There aren’t 3 times it’s ok to gossip first. There’s one and only one.

Do not ask someone if they’re pregnant. Ever. If someone IS pregnant, you shouldn’t have to ask. If they’re really pregnant, you would know the answer without asking. If they are pregnant and you don’t know about it, it means it’s not time for you to know! Please, for the love… DO NOT ASK anyone if they’re pregnant. Unless, of course, you like hurting people’s feelings.

PS. If you absolutely have to start a sentence with “I don’t want to offend you, but…” just be forewarned. You will offend them.

Disclaimer: The person who asked this question was not intending to hurt anyone’s feelings, but even a well intended question of this type, can still be hurtful. You never know how someone feels or sees them self and pointing out flaws can only intensify and already sensitive situation. Lesson here? Be kind and be thoughtful. Questions without forethought can be dangerous. Xoxo

Joanna’s Battle. Please Help. #CancerSucks

10 Jul
For the Love of Jo

Photo Cred: Jo’s Facebook Page

Joanna Sadaka. Her personality is as fiery as her name is cool.

We met Jo when signed to Island Records, years and years ago. I actually saw her last, at our old band manager’s funeral (RIP, John), so it’s been a few years. Like everyone that I don’t see on a daily basis now, I keep up with her fire and passions on Facebook and Instagram. I love Jo. She’s a beautiful person inside and out and deserves to live a long and full life.

I knew things had been rough with her family, but one day, she posted that she too was sick. It seemed that she would be ok, and was released from the hospital, just to get home, still struggle to feel “right”, and ended up in a different hospital that was able to accurately diagnose her illness.

Pancreatic cancer.

Shit.

Since April of this year, she’s been through hell and back, but is continuing to fight. After 4 rounds of chemo, she found out mid June that she needed 6 more weeks of chemo treatment.

I came across this fundraiser tonight and needed to post it. If you’re able to, even $5.00 will help Jo and her and her family. Her mom has breast cancer, her dad is hospitalized for tumors of a different sort, too. They need help. Please, please, please, help them if you can. If you can’t any positive thoughts and prayers you can donate will also for surely be appreciated.

Help Jo and her family.

Help Jo and her family.

 

Every Parent’s Nightmare #RedBalloonsForRyan

6 May

This morning, I was flipping through Instagram and saw a post that embodies the fear of every parent. A couple with a beloved 3 1/2 year old, beautiful little boy, had to say goodbye to him this past Friday, after hit was hit by a truck on their street, and killed. 3 1/2. Gone. He was just chasing a frisbee.

I’ve been battling feelings about this all day, and I just don’t understand it. I don’t know that I’d ever recover something like this. Jaqui is a mommy blogger and baker and devotes her life to her son. Just in the photos on her blog and Instagram, you can see that he was her light. He was her joy. I’ve seen people post that “God is in this” and “there’s a reason for all tragedies” and I just want to scream on behalf of this mama and daddy. Their child is gone and he’s never coming home. Where is the purpose in this? How does this make sense and why would something like this happen. There just seems to be a lot of “bad” and a lot of hurt in the world these days, and I cannot shake mourning for this family, as they mourn the loss of their most precious treasure.

I will never understand senseless tragedies.

There’s an organization that’s collecting money for the family, so if you’re willing and able, please click here to help (the donate link is on the left on this page).

If you can’t donate, you can just take a moment to send your kindest, most supportive thoughts to this family in this hideously dark time.

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Facebook Community Standards on Graphic Content

1 May

I’m so heated by the video I posted about last night, I could barely sleep. It’s made my blood boil repeatedly throughout today. At times, I could barely think straight.

I’ve reported to Facebook several times now, as have many of my friends, and everyone has started getting a “rejection notification” indicating that Facebook doesn’t see anything wrong with it, along with a link to the Facebook Community Standards which includes the following reason for not removing this video:

Graphic Content

Facebook has long been a place where people turn to share their experiences and raise awareness about issues important to them. Sometimes, those experiences and issues involve graphic content that is of public interest or concern, such as human rights abuses or acts of terrorism. In many instances, when people share this type of content, it is to condemn it. However, graphic images shared for sadistic effect or to celebrate or glorify violence have no place on our site.When people share any content, we expect that they will share in a responsible manner. That includes choosing carefully the audience for the content. For graphic videos, people should warn their audience about the nature of the content in the video so that their audience can make an informed choice about whether to watch it.

Lets break this down a bit: 

1. Facebook has long been a place where people turn to share their experiences and raise awareness about issues important to them.
This video is not raising awareness of an issue where a solution is present, nor does it do anything but exploit what happened to this child. There’s no social cause involved. Through a little more research, I’ve discovered that this video was taken in 2012 and apparently, the father is still in jail, which is AWESOME, but again, let’s get real. This video post is for the exclusive purpose of causing people to comment and like it on Gossip’s Facebook page. They have received a ton of requests to remove the content and they have not. It’s probably the #1 most talked about post on their page though, so… again. NO SOCIAL CAUSE. Just exposure to a tragedy, where a child is the victim. And again, it’s not on CNN’s page, it’s on GOSSIP.

2. Sometimes, those experiences and issues involve graphic content that is of public interest or concern, such as human rights abuses or acts of terrorism. In many instances, when people share this type of content, it is to condemn it. However, graphic images shared for sadistic effect or to celebrate or glorify violence have no place on our site. 
This video does not raise awareness to solve a problem, as previously stated, so really, it is about glorifying the violence. If there were a man hunt for this “father” or some reason to enflame the public about his actions in the name of justice, maybe I’d understand, but alas, there’s none of the above.

3. “When people share any content, we expect that they will share in a responsible manner.”
My experiences on social media (and lets be honest, I’m not a novice), are that people are not responsible and few of the 1.28 BILLION users have ever read the policies on posting anything. If anything, social media offers a home for being deliberately irresponsible, as we are all drones hiding behind screens, and no one will ever know who we REALLY are. We can do/say/be anything we’d like to be online. Expecting responsible behaviors of 1.28 BILLION people, is like expecting to birth a baby with a full vocabulary and a scholarship to Harvard, on the day it’s born. It’s asinine to expect 1.28 people ranging from 13-90 to do ANYTHING consistently, besides breathe, eat (no, too many eating disorders), poop (that’s just inconsistent for everyone), and sleep (another inconsistent behavior). It’s pretty cool that Facebook is so optimistic about the global reach of their users, but this is about a SERIOUS issue and it seems that this expectation is a little vague when it comes to the global scale.

4. “That includes choosing carefully the audience for the content.”
How many users of their 1.28 billion even know that you can pick and choose your audience for any post and further, how many people actually use this function (unless they’re trying to hide something from their parents, co-workers, employers or children)? Way to turn yet another blind eye, guys. Endless optimism in humanity served dailey at Facebook.

5. “For graphic videos, people should warn their audience about the nature of the content in the video so that their audience can make an informed choice about whether to watch it.”
That’s very logical. Good thing the script for their video players are written to automatically play videos on rollover state. That TOTALLY gives people the opportunity to make an informed decision. In my case, I was reading the post and swiping to the next on my iPhone, as the video just started automatically. SO RAD. Contradict your own code development in your Community Standards. Looks like their legal team was on it for this one. Even if they did cut this function from the site, you’d still be trusting the same people of points 1 and 2 a little too generously.
In the case of this video, the only warning Gossip give is this:

“This is NOT a cut-ass, this is CHILD ABUSE and its no where compared to 12yrs old girl cut-ass.


(Thank God this DID NOT happen in Trinidad & Tobago. This took place in Malaysia and the man in the Video and the woman filming it, were arrested and JAILED!) Apologies for the DISTRESS caused.”

 

Maybe next time they need to learn what a “warning” would include, like for example; This video shows extreme violence to a child by his father. Do not watch if this would upset you.Or, you know, something of an actual warning.

***Apparently, a “cut-ass” is when a parent whips a child after they have been bad. Thanks for the clarity, Urban Dictionary.

6. Many, many users on Facebook have commented that they’ve reported the video and have gotten the “ask Gossip to remove the post” cop out, and thought those same users have begged Gossip to remove the video, they have not. This just helps them keep their like and comments growing, deepening their community engagement.

The only solution I can see at this point, is that we don’t stop harassing Facebook about this page, and begging for Gossip to remove it. I can’t force them to, but I sure can be relentless.

Leave a comment here to help show that people want this content removed.

Horrified. Disgusted. Sad.

30 Apr

(There’s a poll at the end of this post. Please participate.)

Every little bear deserves to be protected by his mama bear. Sadly, not all babies/children have mothers who are good people.

Tonight, I sang, nursed and rocked my little boy to sleep, as I do every night. In those moments at the end of his day, my heart is full, my brain is relaxed and all is at peace in my world. As I lay my sleepy boy in his crib, I tell him how much I love him, and will always love him. I kiss him on his cheeks and his forehead and tell him I’ll be right out side and will see him in the morning. I leave his room with the fan on low, his noise machine on softly and I gently close the door behind me. Almost immediately, I turn on the monitor and look at him on the video screen. Sometimes I watch as he stares for a moment before falling asleep, and sometimes, he’s asleep before I leave the room. One thing I know, is that he knows that I love him. I am his mama and he is my boy. He is my world and I make sure his world is safe, happy, healthy and secure.

Not every child is this loved.

I left his room tonight, and went to my room for a few minutes of rest and catch up on Facebook, before making myself something to eat or cleaning up in the kitchen. Bad move. I’ve never been so upset by something I’ve found moments after being at such peace.

While perusing my Facebook feed, I saw a post by my sister that I didn’t understand at first. The video started playing automatically, and what I think is going to be a moment between a young boy and his father, immediately replaced any sense of peace and calm, as my stomach cramped up, my throat closed and tears of rage welled up in my eyes. I stopped the video instantly. I only saw maybe 5-10 seconds of the video and I was confused, sad, angry and suddenly, filled with rage.

A Facebook Page called Gossip posted this video as an act of “spreading terrible news”. The problem is, that it was terrible PERIOD. I will never be able to un-see those few seconds (and the video is 5 minutes?). NO VIEWER will never be able to un-see it.

Essentially, a small child (maybe 5 or 6), is physically mistreated by his father, as his mother films it on her phone, while her other younger baby sits in the background. Then, these “parents” post the video online, where it will live to haunt the child forever, until it is removed. The posters of this video claim that the parents were arrested and jailed, which is fantastic, but it doesn’t stop the video from existing. If anything, the more the people watch it, the more “success” the parents have, as clearly they’re terrible people who are probably excited by the growing number of views on their hideous video. There’s no mention of where the kids are, if they are ok, or anything that offers consolation to all of us so far removed from being able to help in any real way.

This set me off. OFF.

I immediately posted that people need to report this video as abusive to Facebook and have it removed immediately.

I immediately texted/emailed many of my mommy friends asking them to report the video to Facebook and have it removed immediately.

I didn’t get a response from Facebook, but my best friend did. Later, another friend got the same thing.

IMG_2480

Are you serious, Facebook?

HOW DARE WE AS A PEOPLE CONDONE CHILD ABUSE BY LEAVING THIS TYPE OF MEDIA UP FOR ALL TO SEE AND (dare I say) BE ENTERTAINED BY???? Even leaving it up to show other people how “mean and terrible the parents are” is wrong. Where’s the protection for this child’s rights and life? The humiliation alone is overwhelming.

Is this what we’ve become? Why do we expose ourselves to nightmares, at the expense of the REAL HUMAN on the other side of the camera? How can we let this continue?

The subject of this video is a CHILD. He’s a person with a real soul and real feelings and reaalllly fucked up parents (pardon the exploitive). Whether his parents are “punishing” him, or whatever they could possibly say in their defense, filming the act and putting it online, then a GOSSIP site picking it up and sharing it for the world to see, is fundamentally wrong. It doesn’t matter that it happened in another country. This is a CHILD. He will grow up haunted by his past and hopefully won’t mimic the behavior himself.

I will continue to fight this and I ask you to do the same.

PLEASE click on this link and report the video to Facebook AND ask Gossip to take it down. We have to have some standards in our lives, including our lives online.

Whatever you do though, DO NOT PLAY THE VIDEO. Do not play it and watch it’s viewership increase. Do not scar your mind with this. Do not hurt this child by telling his parents that they provided entertainment for the world by harming their innocent child on camera. DO NOT BE A PART OF THIS PROBLEM. Be a part of the solution and help me figure out how to change our standards online.

The fact that abuse exists in real life is bad enough on its own. Sharing it with the world is unforgivable.

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