Twitter Child Abuse Mix-Up?

Cynthia Dermody
20

Twitter child abuse scare

Have you ever sent an email or posted a comment that was totally misconstrued? Maybe you were trying to be funny or sarcastic, but the person on the other end just didn't get it and thought the worst, like maybe you were planning to harm your child?

That's what happened Sunday night to a mom blogger known as Thordora of Spin Me I Pulsate.

Frustrated with not being able to get her 3 year old daughter to bed, Thodora sent out a message on Twitter that said, "If I smother my 3 year old, who will NOT GO TO F****** SLEEP, is it REALLY a crime?"

Whoa. Now, I'm not saying I can't relate to that feeling of frustration (never to those lengths, of course, please don't call the cops!). But I can't imagine ever making a joke about something like that, and I'd absolutely positively never put such a thought in print!

You can probably guess the outcome here. Over the next few hours, at least one of Thodoras Twitter friends contacted Twitter (a by-the-minute microblog where users post stream of consciousness messages of up to 140 characters each) who looked up Thodora's identity and called police. (The fact that Thodora is bipolar and often blogs about how overwhelmed she is certainly didn't help matters.) Needless to say, the law was knocking on the blogger's door by 11 p.m., demanding to see the children.

Thodora explained the situation to the cops, and vented about the debacle on her blog in "Watch what you twitter, big sister is watching":

"Tonight, as I’ve done in the past, as other parents have done in many ways, I asked if it was okay to smother her. Which, if you know me, or anyone with my sense of black humor, is a joke born of frustration, annoyance, and yes, LOVE.

So lesson learned ladies. Don’t do any venting in public. Don’t network. Don’t show anything LESS than perfect bliss and 400 tweets about contests. Because someone, somewhere might call the police on you and you’ll be sitting there in your pajamas watching a cop waste his time, and know it."

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++Do you agree with Thodora? Was it wrong for Thodora's readers to call the authorities? Have your comments ever been misinterpreted, or have you ever questioned someone elses?

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