(WARNING: GRAPHIC PHOTO & OPEN LETTER)
Dear Jesus Daily and Dr. Aaron Tabor,
I am writing to let you know that I am deeply troubled by your daily doses of tragedy-porn and “like-whoring” efforts. Most recently, the attached very graphic image of a poor baby boy his chest cavity open for all to see. Please stop exploiting people’s personal tragedies for your own gains!
I have no problem with people praying. I have no problem with pages asking for ‘likes’. What I have a problem with is when you use the shock-and-awe of other people’s tragedies for your own benefit. And, please don’t lie to me – these ‘likes” aren’t for this poor baby, they are for your page, your content, and your celebrity status in this sick & twisted new genre of tragedy porn that helps perpetuate delusional narcissism.
ONE RECYCLED HOAX = ONE MILLION LIKES!
Most of all: why are you sharing this image in the first place? This image has already been used in a number of tragedy-porn hoaxes over the last few years, meant to gain “likes” from naive, well-meaning people! (Don’t believe me? Here’s a quick image search… Some of these previously recycled hoaxes even went as far as to say that “1 share = 1 dollar” donation. How dare you take advantage of your fans in this way! You have gained over 23,000,000 fans because they trust you, yet – you betray this trust by recycling emotion-fllled hoaxes. Shame on you, your trusting fans deserve better!
1 LIKE = 1 PRAYER? 1 SHARE = 2 PRAYERS? SAYS WHO? (Why not just, well, you know… PRAY?)
I’m not saying that this poor child doesn’t deserve ALL help he can get. If I could give $50 to his medical fund, I would. But – I can’t, because you provide absolutely no information about the child or his condition – because all you appear to really be worried about is getting your fans to “like” the post, so more of their friends see it and “like” the page, “like” the post, and so on, and so on…
JESUS SAID, “When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get.” Matthew 6:5
Now sure, you can claim that you are a victim in all of this, that some anonymous fan sent you the image, and you just ‘fell for it” like the rest of your poor fans. However, as I browse through your timeline, I see a lot of evidence of recycling old images – complete with brand new stories. (But, I get it – you’ve been very smart about your wording with these posts – keep the details just vague enough and nobody can call you a liar, right?) Brilliant marketing!
Well – I don’t “like” your post, Jesus Daily. In fact, I am absolutely disgusted by it. Even in my many years of full time ministry, I found these types of guilt-and-shame tactics to be abhorrent.. Our page has had many images banned/blocked because they quote actual Bible verses that make people uncomfortable. Yet, you use these tragic images of people’s pain and suffering every day for your own benefit? SHAME ON YOU!
TO JESUS DAILY FANS: I love you. I’m sure many of you do pray for this poor anonymous child. Do so! However, you may do so without becoming a willing participant in tragedy porn that traumatizes other viewers who have had terrifying losses of their own. You can do you research to find that this image has been used over and over again. You can think for yourself and not play into the promotion of this tabloid-level smut. STOP ENCOURAGING THIS!
And, before somebody tries to tell me, “Oh, but this is just a tiny group of odd Christians who…” Nonsense! The page has over 23 MILLION fans of this bizarre content. This is a problem! A Jersey-Shore-Meets-Relgiou
I wish these poor anonymous children nothing but the best in life. I hope that they can get the best medical attention available to them and are able to get a fighting chance in this beautiful world. I hope that their families are able to find some sort of peace in the middle of a living nightmare. But, most of all – I hope they aren’t further traumatized years later to find their poor child’s broken body has been put on display for you to get a few more ‘likes’ for your page.
At the end of the day, one “like” doesn’t equal one prayer. It equals one nod of agreement from people who are addicted to seeing this type of content, so they feel like something, anything they do has a purpose. You have simply become one of the grand masters of exploiting this very human trait. If this image is years old (as we’ve proven), can’t you just admit that one like really equals one stroke of your narcissistic delusion and ego?
A couple of years ago, I honestly thought your page was a sarcastic parody of other “prayer pages, with content so vile and comments so over-the-top that it just had to be some sort of brilliant ongoing Andy Kaufman gag. Who knows, maybe the joke IS on your own fans?
But, congratulations on your 23,000,000 fans and the 500,000 likes and 60,000 shares for this latest instance of manipulative tragedy porn. You must be so proud!
Please, Jesus Daily – I just ask that use a little discretion!
(SIDE DISCLAIMER: In addition to losing one child at this age, I have another who suffers from lifelong disabilities that require traumatic surgeries from time to time. If someone were to use either of these tragedies for their own likewhoring, I would hunt them down. I thought of leaving the image unedited to give a stronger impact, but – nobody should ever have to accidentally stumble across this sort of thing.)
UPDATE: It was one thing when you were exploiting photos of sick and dying children, but now it appears that you have crossed yet another line by posting photos of dead babies in the arms of their grieving mothers, preying on them in their darkest hours, rather than quietly ministering to those who need compassion most. Your lack of discernment is just… Well, I’m speechless.