Disabled children bullied on Facebook - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Disabled children bullied on Facebook

Casey & Connor were bullied on Facebook (Source: Family) Casey & Connor were bullied on Facebook (Source: Family)
Five-year-olds Casey and Connor Wilkenson are twin boys who have fans around the world.

"We have friends in Scotland and South America," says mom Meghan Wilkenson.

They have close to 3,000 followers on their Facebook page. They enjoy life just like any other kids. 

Casey and Connor were born with Down Syndrome, a genetic, chromosomal disorder. Most people rally around their successes, especially on Facebook. Unfortunately, parents Matthew and Meghan Wilkenson have seen the other side.

"I just think it's disgusting. Some of it I think is pure ignorance and some of it I think is just evil," says Matthew Wilkenson.

Mean, hateful groups are accused of stealing images of children with Down Syndrome to make fun of them on Facebook. The Wilkensons were victims themselves. A picture of their boys when they were babies was stolen and used to degrade people with disabilities.

"They had put a title on it, 'Double Downs,' and made comments making fun of their faces," said Meghan. "It took me threatening a lawsuit for them to take the picture down. It took three days. Three days of them making fun of my ten-week-old babies before it got taken care of."

What has made things worse is that Facebook, at first, refused to force their users to take their stomach-turning posts down, saying the images and posts did not violate their community policy.

"You can't make fun of someone's sexual orientation. You can't make fun of their religion, but children with disabilities are fair game," said Meghan.

Facebook agreed to take down many of the posts, but the Wilkensons say the social media site needs to immediately agree to take down any picture that mocks children or adults with disabilities.   

"I think a lot of it is that people don't realize how degrading these pages are and how demoralizing it is to the families. It's heartbreaking," Meghan said.

Click here for a link to the petition urging Facebook to change their community policies when it comes to children and adults with disabilities.

Also, click to learn more about how you can help make Ohio 2 Strong 4 Bullies.

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