Tag Archives: facebook

Digital Moms Can Be Mean

9 Sep

WARNING: Personal Rant to Follow.

If you’re a mom, it’s likely that you belong to a Facebook group (or 2… or 12) as a community, parenting, and life resource. It’s also likely that you’ve experienced (or at least witnessed) “mom wars” between group members.

Last night, I was on the wrong side of the war… not fun.

While I was driving back to my office after lunch yesterday, I saw something I was really upset by. It was a woman (I’m assuming was the nanny) and two small children running to cross a very busy intersection. They were running, so they wouldn’t miss the walk signal (problem #1… it’s a cross walk. I’m pretty sure it will say “walk” again in 2 minutes). The reason this was concerning, was that the smaller of the two kids (he was MAYBE 2) was sitting on top of the stroller, straddling the handlebars, with nothing under his butt to support his weight (problem #2, but bigger than #1). He was hunched over awkwardly, and if he were smiling, and they were all having a good time, I may have not been as concerned, but the poor little guy looked terrified (problem #3). In addition, they made it across the street and went across the other cross walk, getting closer to where I was waiting to make a left-hand turn, then continued on their walk like this as I made my turn and went back to work. It was not a temporary fix. It was a travel choice (problem #4). We don’t live in a country where families of 6 ride on a single scooter, but we do live in one of the most heavily trafficked locations in the country, so this isn’t something I’ve seen before and I’m just not ok with it.

I snapped a picture from the turn lane.

I contemplated wether or not to post the picture, but being that I’m a mom in the neighborhood where it happened, I would hope someone would alert me to a situation like that, if my son were in danger, and I clearly felt that these kids were.

Strollers aren’t made to hold weight on their handles. A bag sure, but a child? I’ve had my bags at the Famer’s Market give my stroller a run for it’s money, and they weren’t that heavy. This is how law suits happen. People misuse a product, a child is hurt and angry parents take it out on the company who produced said product. It happens all the time. I also wouldn’t trust a 2 year old to keep their legs wrapped around the stroller tightly enough, to RUN with them through a dangerous intersection in the middle of the city. Again, maybe that’s just me.

Anyway, as concerned as I was, I posted the picture to a couple of my normal Facebook group pages, along with a concerned message, to help alert the parents, or anyone who knows the parents. I posted in LA Mommies, Mommy2Mommy and Hollywood Mamas. Boy, can you tell the overall personality of the group members by how they respond to a post!

LA Mommies was diplomatic (for the most part), Hollywood Mamas were inquisitive and cautious, but overall caring (I know many of the members personally, so no one was hostile) and Mommy2Mommy SHREDDED me, my character, some people even called me a racist, annoying, and told me that I was a bad person.

Wow. Those of you who know me (and my multi-cultural, multi-lingual, multi-religion and non-religious family) know that “racist” is something I’ve never been accused of, ever in my life! Additionally, calling someone a “nanny” when that’s exactly what they are, doesn’t warrant verbal abuse from other moms. I mean, come on! Aren’t we in this together? Shouldn’t we be helping and supporting one another, while we struggle to keep our kids safe in a pool full of sharks? The world is bad enough, mean enough and ugly enough on it’s own, but name calling and slandering someone for trying to be informative and protective seems contradictory to how we as parents should act, when we’re trying to raise children to be good people, who speak kindly to others and do the right thing… right?? We don’t live in a village here… but don’t we still need the support of one?

I live in a “neighborhood” with 4 million other people, and believe it or not, I don’t know everyone in my “community”. If I knew these kids, I’d have walked to the home of the kids and talked to the parents directly. Since I don’t, I tried the means I knew best to alert someone to this situation, in effort to help change it. But, this is a digital world and no one cares for the person on the other side of the computer/iPad/iPhone/Android/tablet/whatever. People are given the freedom to hide from real relationships behind glowing screens, while they belittle whomever they please, because they can, and when it comes down to it, a lot of people are mean.

There’s a dichotomy in digital mommy-hood though; you’ve got your perfects, your imperfects, and your piranhas. The “perfects” are the people who post beautiful pictures of their lovely lives all day long… kids in the gorgeous backyard pool on a Wednesday morning with their dad, while mom lounges on a chair (all of this, including freshly manicured feet, fit into one Instagram pic, somehow…. even more perfect), and they’re not even on vacation. This is just their perfect and normal life! The “imperfects” post their reality pictures of messy faces covered in mud or food, while another toddler tantrums in the background and amidst the chaos, the mom posts a picture and is super witty about her life (these are my favorite). Lastly, the piranhas; generally, people who aren’t creative enough to blog/post for themselves, and must have time to be bored, so they sit on Facebook waiting for someone to say/post something that they can tear at like a piranha, until the post is removed by a moderator, or the original poster jumps off a cliff. They feast on other moms.

“Mom wars”. They suck.

I’m not posting this because I need anyone to feel bad for me. I stand by my decision to post the picture, even though I’ve since removed the post for my sanity (and so I don’t jump off a cliff), but here’s one of nicer comments I was actually able to take a picture of, before deleting.

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Hooray for nice people in the world! BTW – You’re not one of them.

 

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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.

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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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