Video of a mother shaming her 13-year-old daughter for having a hidden Facebook account has gone viral.
Val Starks found out that her daughter had a secret Facebook account on which she said she was 19 years old and used a photo of herself in a bra as her profile image.
She confronted her daughter about the account and the adult men who had asked to be her friend, bringing up the dangers of Internet predators.
“I just told her how disappointed I was in her and there’s no reason for her to want that kind of attention,” Starks told ABC News.
The Denver mom went on to give her daughter the choice of being spanked or making a video that she would post to Facebook.
“She said she’d rather have a whoopin’, so I chose the latter,” Starks said.
In the video made as a result, which runs more than five minutes, Starks is seen loudly confronting her daughter, making her repeat her real age to the camera. Starks notes that her daughter does not have lingerie, still watches children’s shows and has a bedtime, among other assertions.
The daughter starts crying in the middle of the video, and tried to get out of going to school on Monday, the day after the video was posted, Starks said.
Starks added that she is shocked by how quickly the video has spread and how much support she has received from parents worldwide. In three days, the video has been viewed more than 10 million times.
Starks’ popularity has gone up as well, jumping from having only 45 Facebook friends to more than 5,000 requests two days later. After the surge, Facebook suspended her account temporarily and stopped her from adding any more friends.
In a second video that Starks, a cosmetology student, posted Monday to thank supporters, she said that she is a convicted felon who cannot get a job because of her record. She told ABC News that she spent nearly eight months in jail after being convicted for complicity to traffic marijuana.
She said she told her daughter, “I’m an adult who made a bad decision and I had to suffer the consequences, and I’m still suffering the consequences. And you’re a kid who made a bad decision and there are consequences to that.”
Starks said she first got the idea of posting a shaming video to Facebook when her daughter “got in a little trouble” with the social media site last year when she was “messaging too many boys.”
Facebook’s user agreement states that users must have their real names on the account and not be under 13.
While there have been thousands of messages of support for Starks, she said that she has also gotten comments from people who believe she went too far.
To her critics, Starks said, “It was coming from a place of love.”
“Anybody could have coerced her into meeting her in a park, and she would have thought it was a 13-year-old boy but it [could have been] a grown man who wants to do bodily harm — and the coroners could have been coming to my house,” Starks told ABC News. “I would rather embarrass her and done this than to go to a morgue and verify my child’s body.”
“She’s had issues with Facebook in the past, at least four times in the past,” Starks said. “She spent half of last summer on punishment after being on Facebook, and it wasn’t even half as bad.”The Denver mom told her daughter she didn’t make the film to embarrass her.
“I said, ‘I did this because I love you not because I really wanted to embarrass you,’” she said. “I wanted to make a statement and a stand for all parents that this is not going to be tolerated.”
All I can say is I support Val Starks and as a parent I have done similar when my then 15 year old son (now 20 going on 21)had a facebook account when he was meant to be older before doing so. I saw a post by a female (one of many) who had half her breasts on show and looked like a female predator (it was a head shot). Parents need to be aware of what their children are doing on and off line!
I went on his page to post his real age and warn these girls who looked like women to leave him alone as he is a boy and stated his age. Then shortly after made him discontinue his account until he was older and wiser! Is he wiser, ‘Oh, yes! Do I regret it? Oh, no!”
The bible says (and I’m sticking with the bible):
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” Proverbs 22:6(KJV). 😀