Hope Marthers talks about cyber bully incident (11/6/2013)
SPARTANBURG, SC (FOX Carolina) -
We use social media to post comments, tag pictures and to find old friends, but for one Upstate woman social media turned into a case of cyber bullying.
Hope Marthers said a woman took a photo of her holding her 7-week-old son at a Spartanburg County Walmart, then posted it on a website shaming her for it.
"People were laughing about it and they were sharing it trying to get more people to downgrade me," Marthers said.
She said a friend sent her the picture, after she saw it being tagged and shared on Facebook. She said nasty comments appeared under the picture and stated she was a terrible mother and shouldn't be carrying around a 7-week-old, like he was a 5-month-old.
"First I was shocked and then I was angry. I pulled over on the side of the road and I started to cry," Marthers said.
That's when the mother of three, joined the Facebook fight.
"I reposted her post on my Facebook, asking anybody to help me find out who this person was because I wanted a face-to-face apology," Marthers said.
The same way those tagged taunts found her, she found the woman who posted it.
"I said 'you didn't even know me and you wanted to hurt me.' She said she was wrong and she started to tear up and I left," Marthers said. "She could've possibly got DSS involved, she could've got child protective service investigating, just to find out it was a false accusation."
Marthers believes the woman who posted the picture wanted it to hit one of those Walmart people sites.
FOX Carolina caught up with the Director of the Social Analytics Institute at Clemson University, Jason Thatcher. He teaches students how to study social media trends.
"How do you get people to post and follow and retweet?" he asked his class.
Students joined the conversation and discussed how and why these kind of pictures become viral trends.
There are cyber harassment laws in South Carolina which define harassment in the second degree as verbal, written or electronic contact that is initiated, maintained or repeated.
Copyright 2013 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.