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Mother Informed of Son’s Death on Facebook


Found an interesting news online and feel compelled to write about that today….apparently, there was a mother who lost touch with her son, contacted the hospitals and jails around the area where the son was last known to be at, only to reach out on Facebook asking where her son is. She found out that her son was dead nearly a month later. How did the Clayton county try to tell her about her son’s unfortunate death? An anonymous private message on Facebook! The message is tucked in an obscure ‘others’ folder in her private message inbox on her Facebook account.

For non-regular Facebook users, this might be the first time they are hearing about this ‘folder’ too, huh? Basically, if you know or are friends with each other and you send a message to each other, the message goes directly into your inbox. If you are getting a private message from someone you do not know, are not friends with or is completely unrelated to on Facebook, it gets sifted out into the ‘others’ folder. My bet is some of you have just logged into your Facebook account right NOW to check that folder.

If you want to get a stranger to see your message, you are going to have to be willing to cough up some money. Seriously. As much as this sound like money-grabbing scheme, it makes sense because it is Facebook’s only way of ensuring that spammers and those annoying ‘internet marketing gurus’ don’t bother every privacy-loving users on their online social networking account.

The fact of the matter is this…I read the news with more than a little bewilderment. One, why did the police decide to use FACEBOOK to get in touch with the mother of the victim? Two, if they could track a criminal down from state to state, they can get in touch with the victim’s mother on her phone and spoke to her directly instead of letting the poor victim’s body ‘sit’ unceremoniously in the morgue for nearly a month.

As much as we would like to think that the entire world has gone online, there continues to be people who do not take online social networking nearly as seriously as others. Sure, we log in occasionally, make announcements, share photos, comment and joke around with each other on Facebook but it is hardly the right platform to use to tell someone about their son’s death. I stand corrected, though.

Let us know what you think of the news and also should Facebook make changes to their message algorithm to allow anonymous messages to flow automatically into the inbox?

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