Should a ginormous corporation be allowed to humiliate a child and profit from her pain? Could $167,000,000 in compensation even begin to make up for her suffering? We can only hope so.
I give you, Exhibit A
What’s the first thing you notice about this picture? (Besides the vast number of people piled onto 2 chairs.) Your eyes are drawn to the child on the right.
She sits alone. Two skinned knees are proof of a life spent tripping and bumping into coffee tables, and it’s not hard to see why. Her cats-eyes glasses hint at the weak eyes beneath, while her chubby body attests to a complete lack of athletic skills. Her hand-me-down dress is so short the viewer can practically see both London AND France. From the top of her head (uneven hack-job on too-short bangs) to the soles of her feet (in black knee-socks perpetually sagging at the ankles,) she is a living, breathing “kick me” sign.
Can you imagine the misery this 10-year-old child experienced? I can. For I am that child.
I mean, I used to be that child. Modern-day me is successful, witty and urbane – a female version of that guy in the Dos Equis beer commercials. 10-year-old me and the torment she endured is buried deep in the mists of time, and that’s where I want her to stay. Is that too much to ask?
Facebook seems to think so.
They recently posted this picture for the whole world to see. Being confronted by my childhood misery was like having a Band-Aid ripped off an old wound. It took the scab of time (along with a couple of hairs) off of memories I had blocked, and all the old feelings of hurt and rage came oozing out like blood and that clear liquid that looks like water, but nobody knows what it really is.
Facebook had a duty to protect me, they failed in that duty, and their failure caused me immeasurable pain. That is why I am suing them for $167,000,000.
“What about Facebook’s privacy settings?” you ask.
They have some rudimentary filters, but I can’t figure them out – I’m over 50. I don’t even know how to upload pictures. Every photo on my wall has been put there by “friends.” I let them tag me, but that doesn’t mean I want anyone to see all of those pictures. This isn’t about privacy; it’s about flattery.
“Can’t we trust our friends to show us in the best light?” you ask.
Facebook “friends” aren’t REAL friends – nobody has 1,379 real friends. There may be a few on the list, but it’s mainly family members, co-workers, acquaintances and people you knew in the 10th grade. They don’t necessarily have your best interests at heart.
If Facebook’s facial recognition software is sophisticated enough to pick 10-year-old me out of a 40-year-old lineup, why haven’t they bothered to develop more useful programs? Clearly, they are more concerned with raking in the moolah than about protecting their trusting clients. That is why I am also asking the courts to force Facebook to develop an additional layer of “friend” protection filters like:
Photo Bombed Recognition: Slack mouth, eyes at half-mast, goofy grin – we can all tell when someone is drunk, so why can’t Facebook? Each of our accounts should have a “Do You Really Want This Posted? REALLY??” pending photo file, where pictures identified as questionable are sent for review. That gives the tagged person a chance to sober up and realize that engaging in midget jello wrestling at the bar last night may not have been their best decision. At any rate, the pictorial evidence is probably not something they want their mother to see on their wall.
Motivation Recognition: Why is your “friend” posting this picture? Is it a co-worker going after the same promotion? A sibling who always resented the fact that mom and dad liked you better? Facebook should be able to recognize the tagger’s motive. It should block the malicious and self-serving, and only let through pictures taken by the pure of heart.
Shar-pei Filter: How many times has a friend tagged you in a picture where she still looks like a high school cheerleader, and you look like Quasimodo? The one snapped just when you were saying something to the cameraman so your hand is half-raised and your mouth is open like you’re about to barf? The shot taken from such a bad angle that you look like you have more wrinkles and folds than a Shar-pei? Pictures should be automatically Photoshopped, taking out any offending elements and making us look 20 pounds lighter and 10 years younger.
Career Killer Filter: That photo of you proudly wearing the beer pong championship crown will probably not tip the scales in your favor when your boss is looking for someone to take over the San Francisco office. Especially since the crown on your head is the pair of tighty-whities you were wearing elsewhere on your body at the start of the game. Into the “Do You Really Want This Posted? REALLY??” file it goes.
My attorney, Huey Dewey, came up with the $167 million figure. That’s $100 million to cover the expenses of the crack legal team at Dewey, Cheatum & Howe, and $67 million for me – $1 million for each of my 67 Facebook friends who witnessed this humiliation.
Remember when that lady sued McDonald’s because they showed a total lack of concern for the safety of the public, motivated solely by corporate greed, and served hot coffee that was… hot? The courts awarded her the equivalent of 1 day of McDonald’s coffee receipts. It was symbolic.
That’s what we’re going for with our cash demand. We want to send a message. We want to teach Facebook a lesson. And we want $167,000,000.
You may be thinking, “How much humiliation could you have suffered since only 67 people saw the picture?” I figure this is just the tip of the shame iceberg. This is just the sort of picture that becomes a meme. It will probably go viral. Soon half the interwebz will be racking up LOLs at the expense of poor, pitiful young me.
Mr. Dewey is optimistic, but he warned that a big company like Facebook has a warehouse of lawyers at their beck and call. Justice may not prevail. That’s why we had to have a backup plan. We are also suing my sister, Lib, who posted the picture, and my aged parents for letting 10-year-old me leave the house looking like that. The sheriff will serve them with the papers right after Dad gets home from dialysis.
Nothing personal, guys.
I’m not doing this for selfish reasons; I’m doing it for all of YOU. I want to save you from experiencing pain like this, which has become like a millstone around my neck. So much pain that I am now forced to wear a padded, cervical collar on the advice of my attorney…er, I mean doctor.
Join with me in urging Facebook to settle out of court and save us all the unpleasantness of a trial. It’s not about money; it’s about doing the right thing. $167,000,000 won’t dry the tears of a heart-broken child. But it will buy quite a few boxes of Kleenex.
What other edits does Facebook need?