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What A Difference A Month Makes: The Wrath of Social Media

Christopher Mirasolo
Michigan DOC

Remember the story about the Michigan rape/custody case? It took a turn a month later, and the reaction says a LOT about social media. 

Back in October, a story went viral about a Michigan woman who was raped when she was a child and gave birth to a baby. Since she was seeking state benefits at the age of 20, the state required a paternity test. A judge then granted joint custody to the man who raped her, who is in prison.

Obviously, the outrage was HUGE. Read some of the comments from WXYZ in Detroit:

The judge granted a stay in the case, which meant that the mother would keep custody of the child. Because of the media outrage, a stranger created a GoFundMe account for the woman, identified only as Tiffany.

She received a phone call in November that, because of the amount of the GoFundMe donations, she was no longer eligible for state benefits.

Now, take a look at how quickly the public turned on her in the comments:

I know, I know. It’s almost self-inflicted torture to read online comments on, well, ANYTHING. But I think it’s important to compare these two stories, and how quickly the public turned on this woman.

Just another reason that none of us should take social media too seriously. It can be hard, I know. Anybody who says it isn’t is lying. Hell, social media played a HUGE role in influencing our last Presidential election. We can’t deny its effect on society, but we CAN be aware of it.

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