The potential of the Internet was fulfilled this week. Chloe McCarty of Blaine made this video on Sunday about a condition she has which causes her to pull out her hair, making her a target of bullies.
She posted it on YouTube and things, apparently, changed for her.
Star Tribune blogger Jeremy Olson followed up and found the video has made a big difference.
With the video has come more understanding among classmates about her condition. One classmate named Matt apologized on her Facebook page: “Hey I really like your video … I’m sorry about being mean 2 u and judging u without really knowing the real u..” The advocacy group for trichotillomania has contacted Chloe about helping to spread the word about the disorder. Chloe’s video has more than 34,000 views — and that’s after the count was recently reset — and she now has a community Facebook page for followers.
If this story makes you a little nervous as a parent, you’re not alone. First, there’s the fact that a 12-year-old isn’t supposed to even be on Facebook, which has a soft 13-year-old age limit. Second, there are far more stories of viral videos coming back to hurt adolescents, rather than to give them even a little bit of fame and encouragement. (Remember the foul-mouthed Jessi Slaughter, anyone? She dun goof’d.) Third, there’s the copyright issue of using a song as background without permission. You can’t always expect a Nikki Sixx to come along and give his heartfelt support!