I was on vacation this weekend but got several messages, posts, etc. (on my page and privately), of people asking me what happened with The Skeptical Mother. Her Facebook page was apparently no more. I had no idea what was going on when I first started getting these questions. People knew I was her friend and inquired why she was gone, and then I even started to catch some of the blame for it (from anonymous trolls, not legitimate people… so eh). I just wanted to put up a quick post to set the record straight. (Our skeptical mom’s blog remains up, for those who still enjoy reading her old posts.)
The reason The Skeptical Mother has chosen to end her page is because some other page was copying her content. This entailed stealing pictures (including fan shares), as well as using her exact captions word-for-word as Sammy (TSM) herself had written them. I imagine how silly and discouraging this could be. When you run a page, it’s something you do as a hobby as it is. You aren’t getting paid, and it often takes hours of your volunteering per week just to maintain. To not get credit for the effort and have someone duplicate you for their own popularity can be pretty frustrating. It feels like someone cheating off of you during a test you worked hard studying for, or someone copying a song or piece of art you put together and calling it their own (and getting the credit for it). She and I have had copies and shares before from other pages (including big name, popular birth pages), but nothing so blatant and shameless as this. In the end, the whole thing just seems so petty and not worth it anymore. You can’t copyright Facebook posts (?) and it doesn’t seem to count as plagiarism per se… it’s this unimportant gray area, unless you’re the one devoting the hours and it happens to you.
I don’t want to tell you the name of the page because they don’t deserve any more publicity, but I want to tell you they are quite large in terms of “likes”– at least twice the size of The Skeptical Mother, maybe even approaching three times as big as her page was. The reason they are so big is obviously due to ripping off of numerous popular pages all at once, as I have noticed now they also copy verbatim other very popular birth blog pages. They were essentially a content copier, an accumulation of the beloved and favorite giants in the birth/motherhood Facebook world.
She had just recently become the most popular Facebook birth page (that I know of), with well over 100,000 likes. I was so happy for her.
I hope that sets the record straight. The page had given Sammy a lot of trouble since she started, and I think she always felt it wouldn’t last forever. This was just the last straw. I’m sad to see her go but also happy for her if it gives her added peace. She is my friend and I want whatever is best for her. If you’re feeling sad or angry that one of your favorite pages is now retired, I totally understand, but I hope that you can also be happy for her because this just might be a return to increased serenity for her.