For every good, there is a bad. It applies to everything in life, including the internet. For every cool and funny music video like ‘Gangnam Style’; An overhyped, bland, or ear piercingly horrible song is made like ‘Friday.’ For every clever image of nature captured, There is a girl with a orange tan making a duck face while taking a picture of herself in the mirror. And for every creative photoshopped joke, there is one that causes a lot of controversy.
One of these troubling trends is an image of a photoshop meme titled “Go Titans One.” The picture is of Nashville, Tennessee resident Adam Holland posing with his drawing was taken during an art class for mentally disabled students at Vanderbilt University in 2004. However, the image didn’t gain notoriety until in 2006, when a page titled “Retarded Handicap Sign Generator” was launched to allow users to customize the text in the sign.
Popular appearances came around once awhile in blogs and articles. One in 2007 on the ‘Angry Medic’ blog featured an edited sign saying ‘I used to be a Cambridge Medic.’ Another in 2008 on the internet humour blog ‘Belch’ about homeschooling special needs children featured a poorly edited sign titled ‘I hit the Poo-see.’ It wasn’t as popular as other images people have made, just something that was rude. Something this old and not really funny would normally not be much to talk about.
Except on April 25, 2013, a Nashville newspaper reported that Tennessee residents Bernard and Pamela Holland were suing three different defendants for using edited photographs of their son Adam without consent. Among the accused were the Florida radio station WHPT-FM, which used Holland’s photograph as part of a segment titled “Retarded News” on the Cowhead Show, Flickr user Russell LaLevee and owner of the website Sign Generator Dave Brown. The couple sued each defendant for $3 million in compensation and $3 million in punitive damages for a total of $18 million. In the coming week, the lawsuit was reported on by several news sites, including the New York Daily News, The Huffington Post and Salon.
There is not much else to stay until further developments are made. But one can ask him/herself who is in the right. Is the family whose son’s face has been made into a joke across the World Wide Web in the right for others mocking and joking with the image? Or is the fact that they should be more wary when posting an image to millions of people who can manipulate it to no extent? And are the people who just saw the picture and tried to make a joke in the wrong, not knowing the pain they caused the family?
For more on the subject see this video.
Also… roving that being too handsome is illegal, Check this out.