Pic credit: Jameson’s Journey
As mums, we can only imagine how heartbreaking it must be to see a photo of your beautiful little boy or girl made fun of all over the internet, but that’s exactly what happened to US mum AliceAnn Meyer and her little boy Jameson.
AliceAnn posted a photo of her son on her blog Jameson’s Journey back in 2014, charting his journey while living with Pfeiffer syndrome, which causes premature fusion of the skull and alters the head and face shape of those who have it.
Unknown to AliceAnn, a photo of Jameson – in typical toddler fashion with marshmallow and chocolate around his mouth – was callously taken from her blog and turned into a meme comparing him to a pug dog.
The meme was discovered on 6 different Facebook profiles (3 of whom were run by the same person), and had been shared and liked thousands of times. She also found the image on Twitter, Instagram, Tumbler and 9gag.
“What compels a person to do such a thing I will never understand,” AliceAnn responded. “There is no way for me to know who did this, but for every post and share of this meme I will do everything in my power to get it taken down.”
In a bid to have the meme removed across the board, AliceAnn then contacted the social media sites who in general responded swiftly (Twitter and Instagram), though some were slower than others (step forward Facebook).
Well-wishers have shown lots of support for the family. “Thank you from the very bottom of my heart to every person that has stood up for Jameson,” AliceAnn replied. “The outpouring of love and support has been overwhelming. I appreciate each and every one of you that has commented, reported, and reached out to us.”
One person even produced this beautifully uplifting meme and shared it on Twitter:
AliceAnn is calling on us all to keep an eye out. If you do see the meme, you can report it on the social media platform. But she also asks to send it to her.
“If you see this face somewhere it doesn’t belong, or if you see that meme, screenshot it and send it to me. Please do not share the meme. The screenshot also provides me with proof. You can also report it, as many times as you want. Unfortunately, that’s really about it for now. Once something is out there it’s there. Nonetheless, I refuse not to fight.”
What can you do if it happens to you?
Unfortunately once an image is ‘out there’ in the big wide space of the internet, it’s very hard to make sure it’s removed completely, or that it’s not reposted.
One thing you can do is drag the image you’re checking onto google.com/images. It will tell you where that photo exists – which sites it has been shared to. That then gives you a list of sites and hosts to contact to request removal.
People being aware of not posting or sharing such cruel images is the key to ridding the internet of such nasty content – rather than trying to get it taken off once it’s already gone out.
And AliceAnn is doing her utmost to make sure that awareness is raised.
“To all of you out there that are laughing so hard at my son, know that this in fact could be your child.
“And if one day this does happen to one of you that are out there laughing and making fun, I hope and pray you change your heart and welcome that child with loving arms,” she said to the trolls in an online message.
“If you are reading this and you laughed but knew it was wrong, I hope next time you choose to stand up for the child you see being made fun of.”