Wednesday, October 31, 2012

SIDS is funny because babies die

Yes, it has been brought to my attention that there actually is not one but two Facebook pages that contain this name. The pages are devoted to images of dead infants (most of the images are dolls but are being depicted in a terrifyingly graphic way-and this is coming from a person who loves all horror movies) and making fun of the parents who lost their children.

The page is also filled with irate mothers, lashing out at the page owner and doing everything from damning him to hell to threatening lawsuits.

The fact is, so far, Facebook will not acknowledge that this page is breaking any policies. It is considered controversial humor, not hate mongering or inciting violence. In face, the people who are being penalized are the angry parents because the owner of the page is reporting THEM for lashing out at him, claiming that they are threatening violence.

There are two ways of handling this: reporting individual pictures and reporting the page. Perhaps, if it gets enough reports, it will close down. When you report the page, you can do so under the "graphic violence" or "hate speech that targets a disease or a disability." The pictures can be reported individually by marking them as "graphic violence."

I have to warn you, however, that the images are quite disturbing. One shows a dead infant cake, more or less. Another is a cartoon depicting how to tell a living infant from a deceased one. And these are the mild ones. For those with PTSD, I would strongly encourage you not to visit these pages. I suffered a few attacks myself while looking at them.

The pages may or may not be removed. My guess is that even if they are, eventually, three more like them will pop back up. Last year, there was a page devoted to people going around to grief blogs and taking pictures of people's infants that they had lost and putting them on the page in order to make fun of them. The page was eventually removed for...copyright infringement.

I used to openly post a lot of images myself. I don't so much anymore. My urge to share Toby with the world has dwindled after being subjected to so many things like this. While I don't mind sharing my journey and my feelings, I won't let him be used like that. You might notice that I rarely tell stories about him and have only posted a few pictures here and there. That is one of the reasons why.

The pages disturb me. What disturbs me almost even more, however, is the fact that more people aren't irate about it. When a similar disturbing page was created in regards to our troops, petitions were sent out and thousands of people angrily responded. It made national news. If a group is created that is offensive, in some way, to members of an ethnic, racial, minority, or altnertiave sexual orientation group they are considered to be attacks and hate-mongering and are removed. But it feels like, once again, our deceased children get the short end of the stick. Deceased infants, and specifically SIDS, is just not a "sexy" enough cause to warrant a lot of attention-unless someone is accusing a mother of murder. That depresses me almost as much as the pages themselves.


Susan said...

Horrible. I didn't post pictures of Catherine for a long time for similar reasons. The internet is full of nutter - just like the real world :)

I've seen campaigns about pages that say cancer is funny. It's all strange stuff - do you have a link to the facebook page - happy to report it. xx

Rebecca Patrick-Howard said...

If you copy and paste the title of my blog into facebook, both pages should come up. (They're called the same thing.)

People are crazy. Methinks someone needs a hobby.

Cindy Reher said...

I want to report it and I'm terrified my daughter's pic might be on there, but I can't stomach going to the site.. :(

Rebecca Patrick-Howard said...

It's a horrible site for sure. I don't know about 4chan, but I can tell you that your child's pictures isn't on the ones that make fun of SIDS. (There are currently three of them on Facebook right now.) Don't worry about reporting them. I am working on getting them taken down so that other parents don't have to get on there. It's really best to ignore them, but that comment to me was crossing a line and I think that on a publicly traded site like Facebook, the "controversial humor" pages are just hate mongering. I don't know why they are allowed to be there.

Anonymous said...

Let me first say, you have a beautiful little angel! I stumbled on your blog after doing searches on this stupid site, trying to find out more about it. I discovered it yesterday & as I too lost my youngest son, Jack, from Sids at six and a half weeks in 1999...I take it VERY PERSONAL!!! And I am in the process of reporting and appreciate your input. Many blessing to you and your family! Nancy