Just as Facebook announced a new initiative to combat cyberbullying, a group's "secret" Facebook page engaging in what's being called "toddler bashing" is gaining national attention.
Making fun of children, especially some who are premature or developmentally delayed, might sound bad enough, but it's who is contributing to the group that could make it even worse: it's a bunch of moms.
The private group started innocently enough. It was meant to be a place for moms to sell and trade used toddler clothing, according to WPBF-TV.
It is unclear how long the Facebook group that included mothers making fun of other people's children was going on, but it appears to have shut down after getting national attention. (Image source: WPBF-TV)
But things got ugly when some moms started a "mean girls" thread, a nod to the 2004 flick "Mean Girls" starring Lindsay Lohan.
WPBF reported on some of what was posted by the "mean moms":
One mom wrote about a toddler's picture, "Before I address this...It...I want to point out that it makes my heart happy that you have a Mean Girls tab in your computer. Good stuff. Now, # 1 is this a he or a she...You absolutely can not fix ugly. This is a God given example of such."
Another mother chimed in, "An ugly baby thread. I have died and gone to heaven...why can't you guys live near me so we can do this over cocktails?"
Florida mom Melissa Antenucci discovered the thread a few weeks ago, took screenshots of it and has been on a crusade to expose the group ever since.
"We have zero tolerance. You are bullying babies," Antenucci told WPBF. "You're not even bullying your peers. You're bullying babies. No."
A mother of a girl who was made fun of shot back at the group.
"This is MY DAUGHTER that is being made fun of because she is delayed…so funny, huh? Sick…," she wrote on Facebook, according to WPBF.
Image source: WPFB-TV
Watch WPBF-TV's report exposing the shocking Facebook group a couple days ago:
According to KSAZ-TV, mother Ellen Veach said her 2-year-old was a target of the group, which compared a picture of the little girl to the mean boy "Sid" in the movie "Toy Story."
"So I'm posting pictures of my son's first day in kindergarten or Ivy's new outfit or something just naively posting it up there so my friends can see, not realizing there's a group that takes these pictures and targets these children and makes fun of them," Veach told KSAZ. "Like that's just something I wouldn't even think a mother or grown woman would do."
"We think out children are beautiful and miracles and have somebody even though you know it's not true to have somebody say something negative or derogatory about your child.. it hurts," she continued.
Veach has since removed all photos of her children from the social media site and changed here profile picture to read "Stay Strong and Stop Bullying."
One of the confronted moms who participated in sharing unkind words about children on the Facebook group defended herself.
"THIS IS FACEBOOK, NOT THE SALEM WITCH HUNT....THIS IS A FREE COUNTRY AND I WAS LAUGHING BECAUSE IT WAS FUNNY....THANKS FOR YOUR COMMENTS, NEXT," WPBF reported of the mom's comment, not naming her.
The local news station noted that since the group was exposed, most of the people involved deactivated their Facebook accounts. KSAZ said it couldn't find the private group but was told that it has been shut down.