I originally posted about the Cody Wright child abuse accusation here, back in December of 2015. For the TL;DR version someone posted an uncensored version of the above picture on Facebook. I believe the picture to be a hoax because there has been no arrest, no criminal charges and no mentions in the media in over a year. Even though there is no factual evidence to support the accusations, the photo still gets spread around Facebook like it’s gospel. People who claim it’s true can’t even agree where it took place. Some say it’s New Hampshire, others say it’s Manchester in the UK, some say it’s Florida and one person has even claimed that it happened in Manchester, Indiana. This story has all the markings of being an urban legend, born out of a false accusation.
Right now, a new round of infecting the less intelligent among us on Facebook has occurred, and this time it’s been shared over 500,000 times. Since it’s going around again I thought not only would I remind the Facebook zombies that there is no proof that it’s true, I’m also going to share my story of trying to get the photo removed from Facebook. I mean, we hear all the time about how Facebook is trying to fight ‘fake news’, yet they’ll let a baseless and possibly libelous picture that has the potential to destroy an innocent man’s life spread like a disease on their network.
First off, let’s talk about the numbers. The post I attribute to the first main spread of this misinformation has been shared over 43,000 times since it first appeared in late 2015.
The second post that seems to have spurred the latest rash of postings was also posted in December of 2015, and since that time has been shared almost 600,000 times.
I thought to myself that this has to stop. Surely, this picture violates some part of Facebook’s terms of service. Well, according to Facebook, it doesn’t.
I reported the first post as harassment and this is the reply I received. I removed the names of the posters because I’m not an irrational douche, but I digress.
Then I reported the second posting as inciting violence, and this was the response I got from Facebook.
So let me get this straight. Posting what basically amounts to a bounty poster and the picture of a severely injured child with no evidence to back up the accusations doesn’t violate ANY of your ‘Community Standards’, even though posts like this in the past have severely damaged innocent people’s lives? Yet God forbid you post a picture of a mother breastfeeding her baby and Facebook will bring the wrath of God down upon you.
If anyone is reading this, who has a decent heart, go to Facebook and search for ‘Cody Wright’ Manchester’ and you should be able to find the original posts. Please report them to Facebook. Maybe if enough people report it we can finally put these unfounded accusations to rest. Also, please consider sharing this story on Facebook. Maybe if this post can become as viral as the original picture we can get it taken down.
Lastly, to those of you who believe it’s true, show me proof. Not third-hand information you heard from the girl’s cousin’s brother’s roommate. I mean actual evidence, like an arrest report or news article. Until then, shut the fuck up, sit the fuck down, and move away from whatever device you’re using because you’re just making the rest of Facebook as dumb as you.
UPDATE 3/29/2017: I found another instance of the picture being shared. This time it had been shared over 100,000 times. I reported this one to Facebook as well and again I received the same answer.
Someone with more cache than I have needs to ask Facebook why this is considered acceptable by their ‘community standards’. If anyone reading this happens to be a reporter or journalist, could you please submit a media request to Facebook asking them why they think this is the best use for their platform?