Thursday, October 18, 2012

Nadine's Been Misrepresented - Misusing the Photo of A Child with Special Needs



[Update 2; 19 Oct morning: YES! The page is down! THANK YOU everyone, on Facebook and Twitter (@mrbrown, @miyagi, etc) who helped spread the word and reported it as a scam! I was very heartened to see people posting on the page -- click to see screen shot on the right -- to tell TRS to take the page down. TRS kept deleting those comments, which really just proves they have sunk to an all-time low. Facebook reviewed our reports and removed the photo]

[Update 1; 18 Oct evening: it looks like I have been blocked on TRS pages, and my previous comments stating the truth all deleted. But thank you, everyone who helped put the link there on their page and pressured them to take down the post. You can also report the photo as spam/scam]

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My friend Edwin alerted me to this photo of Nadine being posted on The Real Singapore (TRS)'s Facebook page. Someone called Sara tried to put up a bleeding heart meme, using Nadine's photo as a child with Down Syndrome. Saying (absolutely untruthfully) that Nadine doesn't think herself beautiful, and asking for likes so that she can show Nadine later "that she is truly beautiful”.

That is utter bullshit. Nadine has no such negative concepts about herself, and I don't know who this Sara is - we know everyone who knows Nadine.

And that photo is from four years ago, taken at Ya Kwang (which has long since closed shop) when Nadine was only two years old. You can see the original photo in my post here about Down Syndrome awareness. I have plenty more recent photos of Nadine. Does Sara really know Nadine?

While the intention may be sweet - getting people to show affection for a kid with Down Syndrome - and the comments (plus over 11,000 likes) have been enormously heartwarming, this whole thing is totally false. I feel bad that readers are being hoodwinked this way. And I really hate that someone flagrantly used a photo of a real person without permission to falsely represent a young child, one with special needs at that who cannot respond to rectify the matter.

We alerted TRS admin and they've apologised, but it's taking a while to get the photo removed as they "can only hide it until everyone who shared it has been notified to remove it from their walls."

Well, it's not being hidden. I don't know why it should be so complicated - can't they just delete their own wall photo? But this whole thing just underscores how much we need to respect the use of photos of other people. They have photo release documents for that very reason alone.

I'm posting this as further verification that I, Catherine Ling, own this blog and am indeed the parent of Nadine shown above.


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28 comments

  1. That's terrible. The intention was to only get 'likes' on Facebook at the expense of your daughter. What is wrong with people?

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    1. Exactly. Misrepresenting a real person, a minor with special needs at that!

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    2. It's absolutely shameless. And they blocked you from commenting on their page. It's YOUR child!

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  2. I am so sorry to read this. I am one of those thousands who clicked Like. I am deleting it from my wall now. So sorry Catherine. Take care. Shame on you Sara.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Johor Kaki! Helps not to spread it further!

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  3. I just went to the TRS page and clicked Unlike.

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    1. "The Real Singapore" indeed...I really hope they check what is real next time and don't anyhow post! I don't know why they still can't remove the photo from their wall even after we've alerted them and verified ourselves.

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  4. I left this link on their wall. Hope it helps.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! I hope so too! They deleted mine.

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  5. I left this link on their wall. Hope it helps.

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  6. Catherine, you are far too kind with your response. To me, it reeks of exploitation. I'm quite disgusted by TRS. Shame on them.

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  7. This is terrible! I will be just as upset, if someone did this to my kids.

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  8. you can report their post to Facebook.

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  9. The Real Singapore is bullshitting. Once they take down the post, everything else disappears. The courtesy of notification could have been done in a second post.

    Don't be fooled by the name "The Real Singapore". These shameless, muck-raking opportunists know full well what they are doing. One of its admins, Alex Tan, has been roasted again and again for lifting entire articles without explicit author permission and citation.

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  10. That is absolutely bizarre that they would do such a thing, unless of course someone submitted it under a false name. I'd be livid if that happened to a picture of my brother.

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  11. Someone has kindly dug this up on FB, not sure if you have tried this:

    https://www.facebook.com/help/231522203606068/

    I, for one, have reported the photo as Spam/Scam.

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  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  13. That is absolutely terrible, Catherine! And I'm with you in wondering why it's such a lengthy process for TRS to remove the photo. Yikes, hopefully this Sara lady comes forth to apologise to you and Nadine as well!

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  14. I don't think TRS is being truthful about their inability to remove the photo. They're also deleting comments from anyone asking them to take the photo down, so I don't know how sincere they are about their intention to delete the photo.

    I manage Pages on Facebook, and I have successfully deleted a Page's photo even if someone's shared the photo on their own wall. The photo gets automatically removed from the walls of people who shared it when the Page admin deletes the photo on the Page.

    I think lots of us who heard about this would like to do more but I'm afraid the only one who can make a report to Facebook is the parent. Hope this info helps.

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  15. I posted in the comments. So far, I'm not deleted. But a woman above my comment who made mention of it being false had her comment deleted. We'll see if mine stays up!

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  16. the incident is terrible but something good came out of this terrible incident. The last line of your entry touched me very much. You're an awesome mother.

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  17. Oh dear.. sorry to hear about the bad episode. Hope that those people will give you a full explanation and apology.
    We have to be very careful with what we post on FB, Twitters etc.. especially with young children. Take care, and hope to catch up soon!

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  18. Thank you, everyone, for all the comments and your support! I really appreciate the help that came forth.

    Moving forward, I probably have to be cautious about what I post regarding the kids, even though I feel we should be able to share without others abusing our photos like this. I can't imagine what parenting blogs must go through with their kids' photos.

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  19. I think they copied a campaign in the US. Horrible that they will misrepresent your daughter! I had a feeling something was fishy when I saw it but u confirmed it. Good for u that u stand for the truth!

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  20. Thanks for sharing this Catherine and totally agree how unethical it is. I've never really liked these sensationalist Facebook accounts and spammers who exploit the situation and The Real Singaporean is truly in bad taste. In a way, I'm glad that the social media community rallied behind you for this.

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  21. It's truly a horrible episode. As a student doing her teaching degree, I am learning about special needs children and how they can be subject of abuse. We need to rally behind children who so often are subjected to exploitation and give them their voice to protect themselves.

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  22. Dear Catherine,

    God bless you and your family.
    You are such a loving and wonderful mum.
    Miss teaching the lovely kids in Rainbow centre and Nadine as well.

    Do post updates of your children regularly :)

    Love,
    Yu Zhen

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  23. Nice suggestions! I like the post. Thanks for sharing.

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