Editorials

Facebook exhibitionism should stop short of posting your dog abuse

The Shiloh Police Department said a young woman posted a photo of her dog with a shoestring tied around its snout. She was charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty after a complaint was filed Sunday.
The Shiloh Police Department said a young woman posted a photo of her dog with a shoestring tied around its snout. She was charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty after a complaint was filed Sunday.

Apparently we need an update to the old adage that “you shouldn’t post anything on Facebook that you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see.” A young woman in Shiloh discovered you also shouldn’t post anything you don’t want police to see.

Shiloh Police charged Sarah B. Boothby, 24, of Shiloh, with one count of misdemeanor animal cruelty. They said she tied shoelaces around her dog’s muzzle as punishment for chewing shoelaces, took a picture of the bound dog and then posted the photo to Facebook with the caption, “When you chew up mommy’s shoe laces...”

Psychologists looking at Facebook exhibitionism note that bad behavior is celebrated by many people. Drinking, sexy images and reckless behavior are intentionally put out by as many as half of the people, but young women tend to be more open.

Privacy settings are rarely a barrier to a potential employer, or police, finding your dumb behavior fully documented by your smartphone. Chances are Ms. Boothby will be followed by the image of her punished pup for many years to come, regardless of the outcome in court.

Then there are the social media goblins who will likely excoriate her from afar. Few forums rival Facebook for everyone having a shot at passing judgment on anyone else.

There are some values issues worth pondering here, but here’s a final thought for contemplation: When was the last time you saw the neglect or abuse of a child that created as much public anger or receive as much attention as a dog’s nose bound for 45 seconds with shoelaces?

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