Drama Mommas: Social Media Groups Implode
Drama Mommas: Social Media Groups Implode
June 7, 2020
The past months have been rough and full of drama for social media groups, no doubt. This private group started by moms living on the Upper East Side of Manhattan is no exception.
UES Mommas is a typical moms group one would see on Facebook. The group welcomes all moms of Manhattan but as you can imagine, most of the discussions focus around Versace strollers and which prep school to start eyeing for a newborn infant. Life is rough. Especially when you break a nail and your nanny is not due to show up for another two hours. Real-world problems, you know.
The group is now facing backlash over its admins not adding a Black moderator to their group after some members called for more representation. UES Mommas had their share of Facebook fights before, having to close down the page temporarily in 2017 after a member and author posted about her children’s alphabet book, “P is for Palestine” which includes the below…the passage that started it all:
I is for Intifada, Intifada is Arabic for rising up for what is right, if you are a kid or a grownup.”-“P” is for Palestine, Golbarg Bashi
That, as you can imagine, did not sit well with some moms of the UES. Moderators archived the group for a bit after things got a little too heated. Again, not the first go-around for UES Mommas. More drama before this- lawyers for two individuals in the group sent two cease-and-desist letters after other UES Mommas called them “racist”, among other names
The repeated reference to my clients as ‘racists’, ‘a racist’, ‘the racists’, ‘Nazis’, ‘white supremacists’, ‘white supremacy’, ‘a bully’, ‘real racists of the upper east side’ and threatening to add my clients to a twitter account that ‘outs racists’ are all statements which are actionable under New York State Law for Tortious Interference, libel and slander.
The posts that you have published have no basis in fact and are materially false and untrue. These posts have cast my clients in a negative light and have served to limit my clients’ free speech and to suffer the consequences of your repeated bullying, threats and continued harassment. Please be aware that such behavior is criminal and in violation of Federal and New York State laws.”-attorney, Yifat Schnur
The drama continued as Lindsey Plotnick Berger, the head moderator who is white, told fellow mom and group member, a lawyer by the name of Addy Spriggle, who is black and made the initial suggestion, that the leadership on the site “is what it is”. Berger and Spriggle both feel that the language coming in both of their directions was combative. Days later, two new moderators were added to the group. One African-American woman, one woman of Asian decent.
All of this momma drama begs the question-what should-or shouldn’t we say on Facebook or any other public social media platform these days? Should mob rule cause site moderators to cave in to demands? Should a discussion that focuses around racism only be represented by members of only one race? Should individuals be allowed their right to assemble and their right to free speech on a public domain without fear of a tongue-lashing from the mob and fear that their livelihoods or reputations are at stake?
Over the past week, tensions and the divide have created a deeper chasm in the social media community. I have seen more “I’m cleaning out my friends list” posts than ever before. I have not unfriended but admit, I snoozed my share of acquaintances for 30 days. I have seen mutual friends get attacked for providing simple, rational, respectful “agree to disagree” comments. Even safe, diverse spaces like Christian woman’s groups that I belong to have felt this tension. To wear a mask, to not wear a mask. To say “Black Lives Matter”, to say “All Lives Matter”. To say “protest”, to say “riot”. And groups are strong-arming like never before.. Heck, I’ve even been invited to groups I KNOW for a fact that I did not join. One of them was an activist group for acknowledging white privilege that included a questionnaire. I almost replied back to the group and asked if it was an all white group and if it was, isn’t that a racist construct that the group is trying to rid the world of? But alas, I refrained. What people don’t realize is that there is a bigger force jerking the chains of division from behind the curtain.
What a luxury we have that we can sit from the comfort of our homes and threaten from behind a keyboard! What a luxury we have time to argue our points-of-view on Facebook! What a luxury we have that we live in a country where we can voice our opinions on various platforms…as long as they are the right ones. The rest of those who may be sympathetic to a situation but not agree wholly (because they read the fine print) eventually may feel helpless and silent. Division is a strategy. So is silencing any and all opposing viewpoints-no matter how rational and respectful they may be-with noise, name-calling, shaming, offense, pointless platitudes and virtue-signaling. Drama is exhausting. Exhaustion is a strategy. And there’s a whole generation out there that cannot afford to have exhausted parents that are wrapped up in this drama and division. Just saying. A few things to think about, mommas, as you ponder the Tory Burch or the WalMart diaper bag today.
Photo Credit: FlickR/Creative Commons/Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)/Cropped
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