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Facebook Discipline: Good Parenting or New Trend In Abuse?


“Spare the rod, spoil the child.” “It takes a village to raise a child.” These are quotes that we are all familiar with by now. However, does Facebook count as the “village” needed to raise children or is there a new trend that is getting out of hand? For the past couple of years, there has been a growing popularity of videos showing parents disciplining their children in front of a camera and posting them Facebook. While some videos feature a parent disciplining a child on camera to post on the child’s Facebook page as punishment for misbehavior on the site, others have simply posted videos of them punishing their child on their own pages. So is posting videos of a child’s punishment on social media a necessary part of the discipline, or does it go overboard? A Michigan mother and 2 others are probably asking themselves that question while they are behind bars.

28-year-old Demitria Latrion Powell was arrested after a video of her child being beaten with a belt gained attention from authorities. The child’s godmother, 42-year-old Uteas Michelle Taylor, and the godmother’s boyfriend, 40-year-old Stefon Tirrell Felton, were also arrested for their involvement in the video. The video ended up going viral after being featured on popular website, WorldStarHipHop.com, in early April, gaining millions of views. It is stated in the video that the child received his severe beating as punishment for bad grades and posting about being a “gangster” on Facebook. All three adults were arraigned, with Powell’s bond being set at $7,500, and Taylor and Felton’s bonds set at $8,500 each.

This isn’t the first time that a parent has been arrested and charged after a video of them beating their children went viral. In April of 2013, Greg Horn was arrested and charged with child endangerment after a video of him beating his two daughters, then 12 and 14 at the time, with a speaker wire. Although the case of Greg Horn and the recent case have gained attention because of the viral status of the video and the fact that authorities were notified, there are many videos of parents disciplining their children circulating around the internet. Recently, another video has gained attention by being shared through social media and WSHH, this time showing a Trinidadian mother beating her daughter for a full 6 minutes. This beating is also said to be punishment for the daughter posting provocative photos on Facebook. 

There have been many different opinions about these videos. While some view the videos as abuse, others rejoice saying that the form of discipline will bring change and help the children in the long run. But one must ask if all of the beatings are justified and how long before people start filming themselves beating their children for no reason just for 15 seconds of fame? Many people may agree that how someone chooses to discipline their children is their own business, especially when they’re at home. But is the discipline truly at home when it is available to be seen by everyone who has access to the internet?

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