Facebook Accidentally "Outs" Gay Kids to Their Parents

Categories: LGBT, Tech
Thumbnail image for rsz_facebook-dislike-thumb-135x135-thumb-250x250-thumb-222x222-thumb-250x250-thumb-200x200-thumb-250x250-thumb-200x200.jpg
Facebook isn't helping everyone find friends
Those cumbersome privacy settings on Facebook didn't do much for two gay kids in Texas who were inadvertently outed on the social networking site, much to their chagrin.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the story of Bobbi Duncan, 22, and Taylor McCormick, 21, both students at the University of Texas, whose fathers learned they are gay after they were added to their school's Queer Chorus Facebook group. Unknown to them, an update was posted on Facebook, indicating the two had joined the gay group.

"Our hearts go out to these young people," Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes said. "Their unfortunate experience reminds us that we must continue our work to empower and educate users about our robust privacy controls."

See also:



As users may not know, Facebook has three options for discussion groups: "secret," meaning only members can see the group, "closed," which non-members can see exists, but can't see posts, and "open," which every user can see. Facebook users can be added to a group by a friend, without them having to first approve it.

In this case, the group was set to "open."

Both students claim they used Facebook privacy settings to ensure certain people -- especially their fundamentalist family -- would not find out about their sexual orientation. "Once I had my Facebook settings set, I knew -- or thought I knew -- there wasn't any problem," Duncan said. She told reporters that since the Facebook saga, her father has left her angry voicemails, threatening to cut ties with her.

Her father recently left the following status on his own Facebook page, according to news reports: "To all you queers. Go back to your holes and wait for GOD. Hell awaits you pervert. Good luck singing there."
 
Likewise, McCormick found himself entangled in family drama after his father learned he was gay. His mother reportedly called him the night the post appeared: "She said, 'Shit has hit the fan ... your dad has found out.' I asked how," he said, "and she said it was all over Facebook."



My Voice Nation Help
8 comments
John
John

Feel the Christian love!

farmtowngirl57
farmtowngirl57

I find it appalling that parents disown their kids because of who they love. It isn't a choice. They are born that way. My daughter is Trans and I love her no matter what. I believe God said to love all his children, not just the straight ones

alassinaddams
alassinaddams

That father is despicable for his comments and actions.  Do you have any idea what it's like to be disowned by your parents?  It wreaks you for life, and this is what he is doing.  He will regret ever doing this, no matter what he says. 

Phephe
Phephe

yea these two are not the only two outed because of FB My mother found out and I get a call stating "why does it say interest in men and women on your page?" I had forgotten all about that being there because I had did it almost 2 years before my mom ever made her FB " I simply told her " mom I like boobs I like women I think they are sexy I find many women attractive. If you don't like that I am sorry your gonna have to deal with it. Does it really matter because I am pregnant and I am currently with a man so what is your issue?"  She got quiet for a minute thought about it then changed the subject and hasn't brought it up since. I guess I am lucky I know there are two many out there who are losing everyone they know and love because of a closed mind.

 

 

BI AND PROUD!! 

fraun26111
fraun26111

The dad that put this in his status is a total douche. To all you queers. Go back to your holes and wait for GOD. Hell awaits you pervert. Good luck singing there."

zeon.xavier
zeon.xavier

I feel for these two theres things we do in life without meaning to cause offence and to be honest if their fathers have a problem with them.... They dont deserve to be titled "fathers" Parents are ment to love their children no matter what the outcome and understand that its nature... So what if they are gay are they really hurting anyone? They got a right to experience love and be happy just like everyone else.... As for their fathers... Grow a set guys and be proud of your kids and be true fathers!

bmackay83
bmackay83

If you choose to be on Facebook, then you should also be aware that you are making yourself vulnerable. Joining groups or any activity on FB is always public to some extent and the real questions should be accountability and responsibility of the the individuals who use FB as a forum for their lives. 

PaganParent
PaganParent

 @bmackay83 I think that they had the proper precautions in place, and were outed by Facebooks policy that ANYONE can add someone to an open group, without their knowledge or consent, and were outed by people who did just that.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

©2014 SF Weekly, LP, All rights reserved.
Loading...