A mother and journalist named Alex McDaniel did what everyone does and threw a joke into the Twittersphere and waited to see the reaction. But instead of the usual worst case scenario: a drought of retweets or an obnoxious conversation sparked in the comments, McDaniel's joke was received by an investigation from Child Protection Services.
Oh, Twitter. You so frequently disappoint.
Here was her joke, which the mother of a three-year-old made before an "anonymous male tipster reported her for suspected child abuse and human trafficking," according to Scary Mommy:
3yo for sale. $12 OBO [or best offer]
A joke, right? Whether you laughed or not, it's pretty clearly a joke from a mom who frequently tweets about parenting. Unfortunately, McDaniel thinks someone may have been out to get her. She took to Twitter to explain why "parenting in the age of social media" is hard enough without an invasive investigation over a ridiculous tweet.
"I was at work last Monday afternoon when two unexpected visitors arrived with uncomfortable looks on their faces," she wrote. "After bringing them to my office they told me they were with Lafayette County Child Protective Services and that I was the subject of a human trafficking investigation."
She made sure to say that her anger is not directed at CPS, who she understands were just doing their job despite "how ludicrous the charge was." But "the fact that anyone who presumably follows me and keeps up with my parenting vignettes would report me to CPS is not only stunning—it's concerning."
"I have no proof it was an attempted targeted attack against me," wrote McDaniel, who saw the investigation was resolved after a few days, "but we all know when you're a journalist, you either have enemies or you're not doing your job." You can read McDaniel's full response to the incident in her tweet above.
But this isn't anywhere near the first time that Twitter has interpreted a joke in a "ludicrous" way. Earlier in October, comedy writer Bess Kalb found herself suspended from the platform after tweeting this:
Here's what she tweeted upon her return to Twitter, directed at Twitter's founder Jack Dorsey:
Even more recently, popular tweeter and comedian Joe Mande explained his own reasons for leaving Twitter forever:
"Twitter is not fun anymore," he wrote. "It's vicious and ugly."
Even with all the hilarious people still vomiting comedy into the Twittersphere, it's obvious that Twitter has a joke problem.
Twitter, please don't report me for this.