Only a couple days ago, I was on here talking about my recent experience with You Tube. (https://thej85.wordpress.com/2012/03/31/you-tube-education/) Today I would like to talk about my experience yesterday with Facebook. Today’s social media related post isn’t so positive though.
Yesterday (after checking my wordpress stats) I opened up my Facebook. You know how when you first signed up for Facebook and expected to have 50 messages to read, notifications to attend to and friend requests everyday? My Facebook homepage looked like that yesterday.
My first thought was that I had been hacked. I looked at the messages (without actually opening them), they seemed like general “hi” messages. I checked the friend requests to see if there was actually anyone I knew on the list (there were a couple people there who I haven’t even heard anything about for fifteen years) but none of them seemed to be people who would be genuinely trying to get in touch with me. By this point I was wondering what happened.
What really made this a not so positive experience was what happened next though. I checked my notifications. More than a dozen “so and so posted on a group”. I couldn’t even see the whole group name on the notification, but it was not a group I was familiar with. All it said was “People who are willing to show that they are against …” I clicked the notification to see what this was.
I was directed to the group page, which proudly displayed me as a member, with the whole name of the group along the top of the page. I began to see red. Just the name of the group made me absolutely LIVID!
The group was “People who are willing to show they are against (name) and want to get her kicked out of our lives.” Byline read “For those of you who don’t know, she is administrator of (county web service) website and doesn’t deserve this position.” And I was listed on this page as a member?!?
If the group creator was standing in front of me and that precise moment I would have given him a tongue lashing like he probably hasn’t gotten since he was a teenager. As it was, I decided to leave my name there for a few more minutes for a couple of reasons. I wanted to see who the other “members” of this group were, if any of them were on there without having joined themselves, and to leave a parting post to this group that DARED to associate my name with them.
The other members included pretty much everyone who ever went to my high school and has a Facebook account. Bear in mind, that puts the age range of this group from 16-78. This means some of these people MAY check their Facebook once a week, some that I know may check their Facebook every month or two. There is no way all these people sought out and joined this group in the four hours since it had been created.
There seemed to be approximately half a dozen people who were legitimately members of this “group”. There were even posts on the wall asking how they ended up as members of the group. Some people weren’t even familiar enough with Facebook to know how to remove themselves! Obviously this group was gaining numbers through mass add-ons.
The posts further confirmed this. I scrolled back through the four hours of this group’s existence and discovered three things: 1) the group had already been reported by the victimized woman’s HUSBAND when someone added him to the group (THAT was a bright move, eh?) 2) Who had created the group. 3) All group members were told that they had a chance at a free tattoo from the town’s tattoo artist if they would add “everyone, family, friends, everyone” to the group. Numbers one and two made me happy, number three pissed me off all over again.
It was time for me to make my post and get me name the ¶Π©% off that group. I scrolled to the top of the page and started to write. It went something like this:
I find it absolutely reprehensible that people are being added to this group without their prior approval. I, for one, am absolutely ashamed that my name was associated with this disgusting group. And I didn’t even know that it existed until I logged on to my Facebook tonight! I cannot believe that even half of these so called members supposedly supporting the bashing of a member of the community even know their names are on here! With all the advertising, news stories, and television programs about cyber bullying you would think that, as adults, you would know better! For those of you who choose to be here and have children: how would you feel if this type of page was posted about your child? You would probably flip at the person who put the page up and their parents! Seeing a double standard here? For everyone, whether you have children or not, shame on you! Nobody deserves to be treated like this! (Name) is a person just like the rest of you say you are, and as such, she should be treated as one! We don’t let this kind of behavior slide with children, we shouldn’t have to see it from adults! GROW UP!!
A couple side notes here: 1) The guy who created this page? 28 years old with a 6 year old daughter. And 2) This may not be the post word-for-word. I could not copy and paste the post from there to here as Facebook removed the page less than two hours after I made the post. Facebook : thank you for removing this group so quickly.
Person victimized by this page or others like it : nobody truly hates you that much. Whoever created the page is either mad at themselves or the world (or both) and is looking to make someone else as miserable as they currently are. I’m especially sorry if my name shows up on the page, I swear I didn’t know it was there. People putting up or knowingly supporting these pages : read my words above.
Please, if you come upon cyber bullying don’t let it slide. Speak up and report the page. If you know the victim, encourage them to contact their local police. This is harassment.
If your child was on either end of this type of situation, you would make sure there were consequences. Obviously it’s up to responsible human beings to make sure that adult cyber bullies receive consequences as well. It is also up to us to make sure bullies are taken care of responsibly, so therefore I need to clarify that I AM NOT encouraging any type of vigilante action. Reporting cyber bullying to the proper authorities would be you doing your part.
I have heard tons of horror stories about cyber bullying, but it never really hit me until I was directly confronted with this (possibly) life ruining issue. Teach your children to know better and make sure you don’t become part of the problem yourself.
All the notifications, friend requests, and messages have been deleted from my profile. I REFUSE to be associated with the kind of people who stand by and let these things happen.
No matter how dark the day, the sun is always shining somewhere!