So? Are you buying? I take bitcoins, scrabble tiles, and even kids…just kidding. I posted this humorous gem in a natural hair group on Facebook. As a regular member in the group, I was able to post this and most other members found the humor in it as well. Between the memes and my many different and unique forms of payment, a quick glance at the comment section would indicate that I had in no way, shape, or form traveled to Mt. Everest to collect flowers and sell them back in the US. And even before looking at the comments, the smug smily face at the end should've been enough of an indictor that this post was based in farce.
Even so, I was bombarded with claims that I was a terrible person for scamming people, my hair was fake and I was wearing weave in the second picture, and even that the second picture wasn't me. I found the claims funny at best because oddly enough, I get similar claims about the length of my hair in person, and if I don't make an effort to prove to a stranger I met at CVS that my hair is real, then I could careless about a stranger behind a computer. Eventually the post, like many in Facebook groups was pushed to the bottom of the page, and I completely forgot about it.
Last night while watching TV, I checked Facebook and noticed that someone tagged my name in a post. I'm often tagged in posts getting requests for hair information or just being tagged in something funny, so I thought nothing of it and checked it out. Low and behold, my Mt. Everest post was found in a different group, but unlike the comments from members in my group, this person thought I was legitimately trying to sell flowers and scam people. In the grand scheme of things, I had other more important things to worry about that affected my life, so it didn't really bother me that it happened (truth be told, I figured it may, not everyone can pick up on sarcasm, especially my sarcasm), and considering it's social media, stuff like this happens many times a day. What was most odd about the situation was that this person had actually tried to send me a friend request, so I wasn't sure of her true intentions (the request was denied by the way). After a few hours, I was able to settle the matter, the post was deleted, and I managed to find out that my post was posted in a few other groups. I will be looking for them, but like I said earlier, I have other things that I need to focus on, so I can't be too pressed to go all out.
What always gets me about this though is people, when they are called out on re-posting photos with misinformation, are very flippant with responses such as "well people should expect this" or "everyone does it." That maybe true, but it doesn't come without consequences. If a person posts a photo of someone without their permission, it is illegal, though most of the time not much will happen. But while most people don't have the means to find an anonymous person online and go through the legal system to press charges, you never know who does and who doesn't. And when you are using your own name and photo, such as on Facebook, the need to uncover the anonymous poster, which is really the most difficulty part, is no longer necessary. It is something people need to be aware of and also not use the logic that "everyone does it" as as safety blanket (think about it this way, how many people are still given a speeding ticket when they tell the police officer "but everyone does it"). Also, while I am pretty nonchalant about the matter, I've noticed that many people are quick to post a picture of someone else, but feel attacked when someone does it to them.
After everything was all said and done, I went on to blogger and made another post. I mean, why shouldn't I? I guess I could make this a learning experience or something similar, but honestly, I won't do that. So long as I continue to post photos online, they can be taken, whether that be with good intention or not. This isn't the first time a photo of mine has been re-posted with inaccurate information. Awhile back, I posted a photo of a flexi rod set that turned out great in a different Facebook group. Someone within the group re-posted my photo along with saying that I had a relaxer. I know she didn't do it intentionally, nor with ill-intent, but the fact that it still happened, especially to a photo that I wanted to share to encourage others, is evidence that no matter what I post, its original intent can be lost. Even though this is a risk, I will continue to post. Why? Because I post with the hope that they will inspire others. I post so that black women know that their hair can grow long. I post to let people know that they don't need a gym membership to be fit. I post so that little black girls know that their natural hair is beautiful. I post to show people that healthy, delicious meals can be made at home. There's a lot of reasons why I post photos and the benefits will always outweigh the risks.