Facebook is not the place to find out your child is dead
I still remember exactly where I was when I found out both my parents had passed away. I remember every smell, every colour and I remember exactly what I was thinking as if it was just yesterday.
It’s a horrible thing learning someone you love has died, and I still am completely in awe of those who passed on the news, and provided the support and care I needed at the time.
Today news broke of a Western Australian family who yesterday learned their daughter had died in a car crash via a Facebook post.
Sergeant Graham Clifford said distressed family members arrived at the scene after news of the crash had been posted on Facebook. He said:
We’re disappointed, but there’s nothing we can do about it. It’s not illegal, but we’re disappointed for the family.
I’m not a parent, so I can only sympathise with how devastating and unbelievably heartbreaking it would be to find out your 16-year-old daughter was dead, let alone finding out on Facebook.
I imagine one of the biggest fears parents with teenage children have is that they will be called by police to tell them their children are hurt, or worse, dead.
I’m sure though, most parents don’t worry about this every time they log into Facebook or Twitter.
Previously, I have written about my addiction to the social networking site Twitter. I’m in rehab of sorts, but like a lot of people today, social media very much rules my life.
I don’t really want to change that either - I’m all for social media. I think it’s a great tool for reporting on breaking news events, it’s fantastic for building networks and, at the risk of sounding like a complete nerd, it’s also a bit of fun.
But things have simply gotten out of hand.
This isn’t the first, and I doubt it will be the last time someone finds out a friend or family member has died, or is in trouble, via the social sphere.
In August, poor Brenda Lin was on a school vacation in New Caledonia when she discovered her parents, two brothers and Aunt had all been bludgeoned to death at their Sydney home, via Facebook.
This week, Little Britain star Matt Lucas’ ex-partner posted a suicidal note on Facebook shortly before ending his life.
And during the Jakarta bombings earlier this year a horrific picture was posted on Twitter identifying a New Zealand man, still alive at the time, who had half his face blown off and died shortly after.
There needs to be some sort of regulation to prevent incidents like these. Users either need to make a concerted effort to self-regulate and censor potentially insensitive posts – or those who run social media sites need to start implementing restrictions that do it for them.
I don’t know if, or how this might work. But I refuse to believe that we have to sit around and simply let families and friends find out their loved ones are dead, in arguably one of the most insensitive ways around.
I just hope it never gets to the point where I find out something has happened to me, before it actually does.
Read all about it
Up to the minute Twitter chatter
The latest and greatest
Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…
I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…
In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…