Jail for "mom influencer" who falsely accused Latino couple of trying to kidnap her children

Originally published at: Jail for "mom influencer" who falsely accused Latino couple of trying to kidnap her children | Boing Boing


Donald Glover Reaction GIF


I wonder why her sentence doesn’t seem to include posting a retraction/groveling apology to all her social media channels.


She’ll be too busy making one about the brown folks who kidnapped her and imprisoned her. :man_shrugging:


Unreported: She was at the Michael’s because she needed to speak to the manager.


I saw this on the news and it is bonkers. It doesn’t surprise me though. I’ve seen various posts on FB through the years about someone “warning” other people about some “creepy guy” at Walmart who followed her and/or her kids, and ends up in some windowless van or something.

I am like, “Dude, 99.99% chance the guy is an electrician or contractor and just going about his day.”

It’s a combination of paranoia, over reporting of real attacks and kidnappings, and sort of “main character” syndrome where clearly something is happening to you, and only you are smart enough to see the warning signs. Oh, and most of the time, a dose of racism.


This is also all of NextDoor in white neighbourhoods. Every POC is “skulking”, “lurking”, “casing”, etc. They’re never simply walking or standing.

I had hoped that “clean cut” had died out as a racist codeword, but apparently not.


Ah yes, influencers, the most naive and ignorant of how telling emotionally compelling stories on social media might play out…

I realize that you’ve got to advocate for your client; but that’s pretty tepid work.


A lot of women are addicted to ‘true crime’ shows like 48 Hours, Dateline, Making a Murderer, etc. and research has shown that over-exposure to these series can increase one’s paranoia and hypervigilence.


Is there a breakdown somewhere of the viewing public for shows like that? I’d be interested in the rural/suburban/urban divide as well as the gender divide.

Also, I feel like blaming true crime shows is like blaming video games or anime: research hasn’t shown any connection, and in any case, if there were a cause and effect, which way is it? People might watch shows that confirm their biases, instead.


“Fortunately” this story ended “well”. There are several cases of people who lost their jobs, freedom and in extreme cases were lynched because of irresponsible people who spread rumors through social networks.


Not sure of the rural/urban/suburban breakdown but consumers of true crime series tend to be overwhelmingly female.

And while confirmation bias is certainly a factor, studies do show a clear correlation between consumption of crime media and the rise of anxiety and outsized fear of becoming a crime victim despite the overall reduction of violent crime rates.

“The problem is,” Schmid says, “that people who consume a lot of true crime tales likely feel much more paranoid, anxious, and vulnerable. They are more likely to think they will be victims of violence, despite the fact that it never was very likely and is much less so than it used to be.”

He points out that, in fact, statistics indicate that during a period in which violent crime rates in this country have dropped precipitously, people’s fear of crime and their opinion about whether they are likely to be a victim of crime have basically remained the same.

“Why does fear of being a victim lag so far behind the reality?” he asks.

“Because,” he says, “even if we aren’t addicted to the many true crime books, television and films at our disposal, most of us watch TV news, read newspapers and peruse online news sites. All of them routinely over represent the incidence of violent crime relative to other news. So we think that we live in a much more dangerous society than is true for the vast majority of us.”


Thank you for those links.

What I see in the second link is assumptions by Schmid, not research into which came first, the fear and anxiety or the watching of true crime shows. I mean, I’ve been exposed to a great deal of crime in my life, and I’ve never watched those shows. I’m not drawn to them, BECAUSE I know what IRL crime is like. I would argue that people who have a natural tendency toward fear and anxiety (authoritarian types) who are then whipped up into a frenzy by Fox News, AM radio, and their churches are more likely to look for confirmation in the shows they watch. I think my theory has as much merit as Schmid’s, so until enough research has been done, I’m not going to accept one guy’s assumptions over my own observations.


I think you’re right, it isn’t a direct causation. I think it is a feedback loop, similar to Fox News/Newsmax/OAN viewers. If you already think the Democrats are evil and they are coming to take you away if you don’t bow down to the “radical left agenda”, their content is going to confirm and amplify those feelings. And someone who has a casual interest could have that amplified and slide right down into full blown MAGA “deep state” hysteria.

Not everyone who is into true crime is paranoid or obsessed that there is a serial killer behind every corner. But if one has a kernel of that fear, show after show showing “the killer next door” could amplify those feelings.

When it comes to purely entertainment media, fictional stories, I don’t think that has the same effect on most people because they know it isn’t real, and why TV, movies, and video games don’t statistically translate to real world violence.


There is a large body of research that correlates the consumption of news media and the increased fear of becoming a crime victim so it’s not just the one guy quoted above saying this.

As to which came first, studying the cause and effect is complicated:


What the existing research also indicates is that the connection between crime news consumption and fear of crime is not necessarily straightforward, as the impact of news consumption can interact with several other factors. Chiricos et al. (1997) noted that, with reference to watching television news, only White females experienced greater levels of fear of crime. A later study by Chiricos et al. (2000) showed that past experiences of crime victimization influenced the relationship between watching both local and national television and fear of crime. Their findings indicated that watching local news had a stronger effect on fear of crime among respondents with past victimization experiences, as well as among respondents who lived in areas with higher crime rates (see also Weitzer & Kubrin, 2004).

(Granted this and most other studies examines the impact of local and national news media and the general fear of crime victimization and does not single out the role of the True Crime non-fiction genre.)


For an “influencer” this is the real punishment


Lesson to other “influencers” - just stick to reviewing diaper bags or whatever rather than being a racist.
This advice is free, you’re welcome.


That story was so crazy when it came out, I remember, yeah… that’s unbelievable.You can read some of the original stories on it and it just sounds awkward and off.

Definitely. Though these shows and some sensationalist journalism programs push a bit of paranoia, I think there is a true push to make people fearful. Mostly so they can be easily manipulated into giving away their rights.
I mean, anyone would be prepare to give away some basic personal freedoms as long as we can be kept safe from all these “predators” right?