Friday, December 18, 2009

Twitter Troll

We had emails from readers wanting us to verify the death of a little boy two days ago, but by the time we saw the emails, the death had sadly been confirmed.

Since then, we have had comments about a "Twitter Troll" Madison McGraw who seems "hellbent on destroying this boy's mom", according to one reader.

The time line we have is: the mother, Shellie, was twittering from 5:17 to 5:22 about chickens in her yard, while cleaning the coup. According to police, she had asked her 11-year-old son to take the 2-year-old, Bryson, into the house while she was cleaning, and before she began twittering. She went inside to find Bryson missing.

At 5:23, the older son called 911, when they found the toddler at the bottom of the pool. Bryson was taken by ambulance to the hospital at 5:55. His mother arrived shortly after, and sent a twitter at 6:13 to her over 5,000 twitter friends letting them know her son needed prayers, that he had fallen into the pool. The little boy was pronounced dead around 6, and his mother was notified at 6:30.

The police have determined that her using twitter did not contribute to the child's death. However, most major news sources have picked up the story, and the ongoing debate on whether or not her twitters about her son's accident and his death were appropriate.

On Twitter, the debate also included the amount the mother twittered - between 70 and 80 twitters in nine hours, with two children home that day. In particular, one user, MadisonMcGraw, has taken a particular interest in this, and has been sent to us as a "Twitter Troll."

Originally we were asked to expose Madison McGraw's true identity, as she has spoken to all the media under the pen name, and blogs and twitters under several monikers, but never her real name. That has been discovered as well - she's Laura Freed, of PA. Hiding behind a pen name when making such accusations after the death of a toddler is certainly, indisputably trollish.

We were also asked to just have her recognized as a troll, but there seems to be some debate about whether or not her arguments are valid, the reason behind her continuing to push her agenda (she is a little-known author, and links to articles back to her site), and the reason she would persecute a mother after such a loss.

On the other hand, people are questioning how much is too much in regards to the number of twitters posted, how much focus was on Twitter instead of on the child who died, and the use of Twitter right after a death.

We have our opinions, but they're not cut-and-dry. Instead, we are posting this as a sounding board for those readers who emailed us, so they can discuss it outside of Twitter.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Laura Freed is a sick FUCK. Can we curse? Guess I just did.

military_mom's baby drowned. He is dead. The police looked into it and said her phone didn't have anything to do with it. She needs to STFU and show compassion to this poor mom.

And apologize!

She is in it for the money and fame. More people looking at her pathetic book site. Like they are gonna buy her book.

Deborah said...

I must be in my own world, cause I honestly hadnt heard anything about this poor toddlers death until I happened to come upon the mothers blog while searching for something else.

I saw the mothers plea to the media to leave her alone to grieve and that when I googled and found out what happened.

I am not a twitter person and have no intentions of ever doing it, but I dont believe for one second this mother did anything wrong! From the facts to date this was simply a horrible accident that could happen to any of Us.

My thoughts and prayers are with this mother and her entire family during this time.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2:31, Laura Freed may indeed be a cruel troll, but using vulgar language in the comment section of a respectable blog is inappropriate...I cringed when I read it.

AJ said...

AJLind - A little boy is dead. Instead of using Twitter to say something kind Laura Freed aka Madison McGraw attacks the mother. As a mother I had this EXACT same thing happen - I was talking on the telephone to the telephone company about a bill and my little boy ran past me onto the patio where my pool was...I had a floating alarm on the pool and it never went off...about a minute later when he did not come back I peeked outside and he was at the bottom of the pool...I yelled into the telephone, "My son is on the bottom of the pool!" and dove into the pool and got him out...he was okay, coughing and crying, but the AT&T representative had the sense to already call 911 for my area and the sirens were soon heard...the pool alarm remained silent, even though it was new and batteries were fine. MY POINT IS THAT TRAGEDY HAPPENS AND NO ONE SHOULD USE THAT TRAGEDY TO PROFIT PERSONALLY WITH FAME OR SCHADENFREUDE. Shame on Laura Freed / Madison McGraw! Boycott her books and start a petition to eliminate her from Twitter. Better yet, STOP FOLLOWING HER on Twitter. She's nothing more than a TWIT. God bless Shellie Ross and her beautiful baby. AJLind-

Anonymous said...

Anon #1, sometimes vulgarity is the only way to express something...this is a tragic accident, and the family needs support, not the venom Laura Freed is spewing.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to DWT for the opportunity to read and respond.


I do think this is a sober reminder to all parents and caregivers that toddlers need to be watched by responsible people because tragic things can happen.

Military_mom had recently moved into this house. A home with a pool requires even more forethought as it comes to children playing outside. I am a little concerned that she referred to her 11 year old as the one person responsible for her two year old.

Laura Freed is indeed out of line in her badgering of Military_mom but her questions are important for all parents to ask of themselves before a tragedy happens.

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Anonymous said...

10.04: WTF?!?!!

DownWiththeTrolls said...

Spam on a troll blog. Love the irony...

Anonymous said...

FYI - A death that does appear to be real is that of Paul (the Paul from the whole Gina/Pepe blog).

Joni said...

Heads up...Here is a TROLL blog who has ALSO stolen photos from other people's blogs. Sadly not all of the photos have been identified as to who they belong to. If you could help with this by posting it that would be great. A few of them have been identified, but some of them haven't and I feel for the families who have to deal with people like this.



http://svancem.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2010-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-08%3A00&updated-max=2011-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-08%3A00&max-results=2

Anonymous said...

One of your own has gone "troll."

Check out this comment by Brianne Gibson. There are many more examples, but this is her latest gem.

http://inourownweirdway.blogspot.com/2010/03/checking-in.html

Anonymous said...

http://twitter.com/mysweetkaylie
http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/sweetkaylie

This kid is supposed to be a faker, too. LOVELY.

Anonymous said...

Clearly Jennifer Cloonan aka Ms. J of http://inourownweirdway.blogspot.com aka previous ANON does not know the difference between "bitch" and "troll". I called her out under my real name. That's not a troll. Maybe she needs to spend more time with Kira and Kendra so that she wouldn't have so much time to devote to thinking the world revolves around her...